Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southwestern United States
By Donovan S. Correll and Helen B. Correll
(Paperback; 1,777 pp., 2 volumes)
Originally published in 1972, this classic weighs in at 1,777 pages and 789 pages of line drawings.
The primary aim of Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southwestern United States by Donovan S. and Helen B. Correll is to enable the identification of fern and flowering plants in polluted and non-polluted aquatic and wetland habitats of the Southwestern United States (Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona). The basic requirement for inclusion was a plant's ability to withstand a permanent or seasonally long submersion of at least its root system. In addition, plants classified as phreatophytes, or those plants whose deeply penetrating roots tap the groundwater, are included.
"I discovered this book while taking a wetland plant taxonomy class in graduate school. The instructor of the class had this book available as a reference to supplement the book that was required for the class. As a relative amateur in utilizing keys to identify plants, I consistently found myself going back to this book because the keys were easier to follow. The written descriptions of the plants are thorough yet concise and focus on characteristics that are readily observable. I also find the line drawings, as supplements to the descriptions, very helpful in getting to the right place. There are adequate drawings indicating differences among genera rather than simply depicting a drawing of the most commonly found species. Another advantage to this book is that I do not have to spend a lot of time sorting out species that are mostly found in Florida and the Southeast. There will always be overlap of species across regions, but by starting with Texas and Oklahoma and focusing west, much more of the information in the book is relevant.
Since graduation, I have searched for a comprehensive resource that covers Texas. What I have found is that most of the available resources that cover Texas focus on the Southeastern US. This book is definitely the most comprehensive resource for identifying wetland plants in the area where I spend most of my time. I consider this book a useful and valuable resource that I consistently refer to as a first option, and as such a valuable addition to my reference library."
Katy Prairie Conservancy,
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