Synopses & Reviews
Jack Sanders's colorful tribute to wildflowers is bursting with odd facts, ingenious uses, and bizarre superstition about some of North America's most beautiful and common plants. There are more than 10,000 varieties of wildflowers in North America, some rare, some so plentiful that they are designated as invasive weeds. Each has a unique story.
There's Bouncing Bet, a perennial common along the roads and railroad tracks of America. Like many of our most abundant summer wildflowers, Bet was brought over to fill colonial gardens. It's a beautiful plant, but also a useful one. Open up the stalk and its sap makes a fine soap. Colonial beermakers used to put a dab in to help the head on a brew. Doctors used it to wash wounds. Generally considered a weed, it's everywhere.
Or Coltsfoot, which pops up almost alone in winters, and was used in New England as a cure for coughs, the leaves boiled down in water. Asthmatics, Sanders tells us, used to smoke it for relief. For many years, apothecaries in France used Coltsfoot as its symbol, a surprising pedigree for a neglected "weed."
More a companion than a field guide, THE SECRETS OF WILDFLOWERS is a must-have for anyone who enjoys a walk in a meadow or a gaze outside.
An authoritative and unique guide to an unsung treasure--North Americas wildflowers
Few things in nature beautify the world more than wildflowers. Their countless colors and endless designs are found almost anywhere the sun strikes the earth - from fields to woods, deserts to ponds, and even in junkyards, dumps, and cracks in shopping-center parking lots.
The Secrets of Wildflowers, Jack Sanders's colorful tribute, is bursting with odd facts and wonderful superstitions about some of North America's most beautiful and common plants. And this is just one of its many uses. You'll also find natural history, folklore, habitats, horticulture, ingenious uses past and present, origins of names, and even their literary pedigrees. Far richer and eminently more varied than any filed guide, The Secrets of Wildflowers is one banquet no nature aficionado can pass up.
How they work and what they do are often overlooked, and how they have been used has largely been forgotten. The Secrets of Wildflowers provides a thorough introduction to more than one hundred representative species of North American wildflowers.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 284-294) and index.
About the Author
JACK SANDERS is the northeast field editor for Wildflower
magazine and has written about wildflowers for The New York Times
. The editor of The Ridgefield Press
, he lives with his wife, Sally, in Ridgefield, Connecticut.