This book was originally published in 1985, and my copy belongs to the eighth printing in 1999. Its popularity is well-deserved. Author and photographer, Harry C. Lund has spent many years hiking through bogs, forests, meadows, and sand dunes in Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas and its off-shore islands in order to put together this book for us. I have yet to find a Michigan wild flower that isn't listed in this guide. The book is well-bound and would easily fit into your backpack for a walk through the wild.
The flower photographs are grouped by color for ease of location. They are then listed in the order in which they appear during the growing season, which is a little trickier to use. I basically start at the beginning of a color group and page through until I find the flower I'm trying to identify. There are generally six photographs to a page, with the text on the facing page. In some cases, the photographs are a bit too small to easily recognize the flower, but when combined with the text there should be no identification problem.
At the beginning of "Michigan Wildflowers in Color," the author has illustrated textual terms such as 'stipules' or 'basal leaves' with a collection of line drawings. The plant descriptions include location, seasonal display, height, and information on whether the flower is protected and should not be picked or moved.
There is a quiz at the back of the book to test your 'flower power.' There is also an 'Observer's List' to keep track of the flowers you do find. Unfortunately, the first entry I wanted to check off wasn't on the list! Perhaps this is because Crown Vetch is not really a wild flower, although its photograph and description appear in the main section of this book.
The author has also mapped out eight wildflower trails in various Michigan habitats, plus the seasonal species of flowers that can be found there.
In total, "Michigan Wildflowers in Color" is a very helpful guide, especially when used in combination with a book like the Peterson "Field Guide to Wildflowers" where the drawings might serve as a confirmation or a backup to Lund's photographs. Leaves in particular are easier to identify through Peterson's drawings.