Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification

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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification

6th edition, by Thomas J Elpel, 235 pages, 8½x11, softcover. I love this book, from a small press out of Pony, MT. Besides the dictionary and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, it is the book I most often flip through while drinking coffee in the morning—I find it beautiful, comforting and stimulating all at once. Colorful illustrations on nearly every page, it’s an approachable botany textbook and an herbal field guide to North American plants, regularly updated by the author since its release in 1996. Although Elpel asserts that “in a day” you can learn everything you need to know to ID unfamiliar plants, I’ve been poring over this book for years, opening at random to a plant family and studying patterns of characteristics that link plants to their relatives. The patterns method engages the scientific mind and also sparks a mystic appreciation for the interconnectedness of things in our world. For the studious, the curious, the herbalist, the teacher—plant-lovers of all persuasions will be happy to have this on the shelf. -Elisabeth Benjamin


9510 Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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