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Publisher: HOPS Press, LLC

Summary

in Botany in a Day Thomas Elpel makes plant ID fast. Thomas breaks down plants into seven basic families, he shows you the characteristics of each family. Once you have mastered the patterns you can use in reference guide (which makes up the bulk of the book), which will help you identify thousands of plants with ease

Where to get it?

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca
Powell's

Related Videos





Related Podcasts

Podcast 246 - Review of Botany In A Day Part 1
11 Part Review of Botany In A Day

Related Threads

Ask a Botanist
Plants Forum
Plant ID

Relevant Websites

Thomas J Elpel's Website

COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Absolutely required if you are gonna forage out west.

Almost all the other id books are written for the rockies and east coast.

Is ideal for deciding which weeds are tools and food, and which weeds are chop n drop.

 
Posts: 131
Location: Olyden, WA
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I have a copy of this from the local library on my window sill. Very quick read. I don't know enough to judge it's accuracy, but I will be buying a copy if I don't win one. Great reference.
 
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I own this book and for foraging and medicinal wild herb picking it is the most valuable book I own. Learning to identify plants is made so much easier with this book. I highly recommend it for learning.
 
author
Posts: 35
Location: Pony, Montana
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Thnaks for all the kind comments! I updated Botany in a Day to color last year, and also converted from the old Cronquist classification system to the new APG system, as explained here:

http://www.hopspress.com/Books/Botany_in_a_Day.APG.htm

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Elpel

 
Posts: 107
Location: eastern panhandle of W.V.
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I give botany in a day 9 out of 10 acorns...
This book is the bees knees of plant Id books! Being able to key out a mystery plant in your garden is vital if you are trying to be selective in what "weeds" you chop to drop and which ones to eat in your garden. Or if you are a seed junkie like me you'll need it when you can't identify the bizarro plant that decided to grow months after going wild with the seeding of weird things. My good friend did a weed walk with this in hand and after she demonstrated the keying of plants I wondered why I hadn't had one years ago. It teaches as you use it, making identification easy on future forays- just knowing how to identify the poisonous family of plants can help you to eat like a king on an unexpected trip into the wild.
If the size were more compact this would be a 10/10, on longer trips it's a little big to pull from your back pocket....
 
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I have been testing some items with my chickens, so far if they eat it and don't spit it out, I try it. I have been eating lambs quarters, sorrel, dandelion, etc from my yard, but want to take foraging to the next step. I spend hours trying to look things up, and sometimes I can't see 'the forest through the trees' in the pictures.
 
Thomas Elpel
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Posts: 35
Location: Pony, Montana
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Eva - Thanks for the apples! I'll have to work on the field guide size!
Erica - Chickens and other species have vastly different digestive systems than we do. People foods can be poisonous to animals, and animal foods can be poisonous to us. If you are going to experiment with unknown plants, please start by learning some family patterns, so that you can at least elminate the most poisonous plants:

http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Plant_Identification/Patterns_in_Plants.htm

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Elpel
http://www.GreenUniversity.com

 
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns.

First off let me say that this book is a great resource, what a great way to use pattern recognition for identification of plants.

I won this book thanks to being on Paul's email list and have really enjoyed learning a new method for identification. This book opens your eyes (mind) to the fact that there is a pattern to what plants grow with what characteristics and once you understand that pattern identifying unknown plants becomes much easier.

The only reason I don't give the book 10 acorns is really selfishness on my part - I want more! As mentioned above, a pocket friendly field guide would be very handy. Maybe an insert that comes with the book that covered the info presented in part one of the book, which consists mainly of the keys used in pattern recognition as well as general plant part descriptions that you need to understand to be able to use the keys. The other thing that I would really like to see is the addition of more information about uses of the plants. While I enjoyed the information presented about the traditional medicinal and dietary uses of many of the plants, as a permaculture enthusiast (fanatic) it would be great to see things like whether a plant was a known dynamic accumulator or could be used to make foliar sprays, things of that nature.

Overall an amazing book that I would recommend anyone interested in our natural world add to their collection.
 
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I give this book 8 out of 10 acorns.

I love how Botany in A Day makes plant identification fun and accessible. Pattern recognition is a wonderful way to introduce people to botany. And I love that the newer edition has color pictures. It's probably not the only book on botany that you should have though. And don't expect to actually be able to learn botany in just one day.
 
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I checked out the B&W version of the book from library and found it difficult to identify plants. Will the color version make a big difference?
 
Posts: 9
Location: Cedar River Watershed (Seattle, WA)
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Hello Thomas and all,

I've been on a few guided edible plants walks in Seattle parks (Lincoln and Discovery) but they were pretty basic. I imagine knowing the patterns in this book would amplify any future walks. Maybe I'd be able to eventually lead my own! I look forward to seeing if my local library can order the new version in color.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Michael
 
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I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns.

Very useful, and I will be coming back to this book as a reference many times in the future.

I agree with this review above:

Michael Newby wrote:
The only reason I don't give the book 10 acorns is really selfishness on my part - I want more!  As mentioned above, a pocket friendly field guide would be very handy.  Maybe an insert that comes with the book that covered the info presented in part one of the book, which consists mainly of the keys used in pattern recognition as well as general plant part descriptions that you need to understand to be able to use the keys.  The other thing that I would really like to see is the addition of more information about uses of the plants.  While I enjoyed the information presented about the traditional medicinal and dietary uses of many of the plants, as a permaculture enthusiast (fanatic) it would be great to see things like whether a plant was a known dynamic accumulator or could be used to make foliar sprays, things of that nature.

 
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

I think the book does a good job of fulfilling its mission to teach botany in an easy to understand patterns method of identification. I like how the book organized. The guides on the inside flaps of the book are a great place to start for learning the physiology of plants. I like the story in the foreward by Thomas J. Elpel about foraging with his grandma. I like that he clearly outlines the useful area/region to which the book is meant to be used in- the north western regions of North America. I like that there is a section that even says "How to Proceed". I like it when authors explain how to read their books and how to use their books. The sections on Plant Classification and the Evolution of Plants set a good easy to understand scientific basis for the rest of the book. The Learning Plants by Families section and Patterns Method of Identification subsection set the basis for the rest of the book- a general idea of what patterns are and some good useful families to learn to get you started (mustards, mint, parsley, pea, lily, and aster). The little quiz that follows helps to make sure you have the patterns down. Then, the How to Use the Keys, Profiling Flowers, and Keys sections establish a good basis for identifying unknown families when you don't yet known the patterns. What then follows is the Reference Guide, which consists of different families of plants and how to identify them. Each page of the Reference Guide has the Division the Family is part of, the Order, if any, the scientific and common names of the family, an overview of the family and how to identify it, a picture of plants in that family, key identifyign features, lists of North American species of that family and some properties of those species. Some of the larger families are further broken down into subfamilies, which is pretty useful. Th Reference Guide, which compromises most of the book, is then followed by the Medicinal Properties of Plants, which is also well-organized and has a good solid easy to understand information in it. Throughout the book, I appreciated the thorough referencing and citations, as well as personal anecdotes of experiences with different species of plants, because it demonstrates that the author has done their due diligence and research in their book. It also demonstrates the author has personal experience with the identification of plants and the useage of plants, as well. I think I like books like this a lot, because it saves me the time of having to read all those other books myself and having to hunt out that specific knowledge that can sometimes be very difficult to find, because it might not be in a book; it might be stored in someone else's head, which the author has thankfully taken the time to find these people, learn from them, and then write that stuff down so others may have that knowledge, too. Overall, this is a wonderful reference book and well-worth picking up again.
 
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