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Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, BC and Alaska [Paperback]

Andy MacKinnon , Jim Pojar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.85
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Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, BC and Alaska + Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants Of the Pacific Northwest
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb field guide Sept. 18 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No better book on the market. I use it extensively for identifying alpine flowers. It is really too big to backpack into mountains, especially on long overnight treks. So I tend to photograph the plants and flowers in the field and do a further identification when I get home. Digital photography makes this so easy. The book's photos are of very high quality greatly facilitating the identification. Plus one gets to learn about how the native population used the plants. The keys are just excellent in helping identification.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable book, even though the purpose of it was more to Identify plants in the field both for hiking, day-to-day use and prepping, I was pleasantly surprised at the short and interesting history of the traditional use of plants ..or where they were introduced from.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  106 reviews
70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Model for All Field Guides Jan. 29 2005
By Leha Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
This is simply the best field guide on any subject I have ever encountered. Photos are clear and often come in both full plant and detail perspectives; text is accurate, clear, well-written, and thorough; and the book is intuitively organized, providing easy-to-use keys, and a text-alongside-photo format that means less page flipping in the field. The cover is water-resistant, too! Packs an amazing number of plant species, including many bryophytes and lichens, as well as ferns and seed-bearing plants. Even covers many grasses! I live in California, and although many of the plants in this book don't reach down to my area, it is still the first field guide I pick up when trying to key a plant, because I am almost sure to get the family here, and usually the genus as well. Once you have those, it's much easier to cross-reference to your local species and varieties. If you didn't love plants obsessively before, this book will make you want to start!
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential tool May 3 2006
By J. Branson - Published on Amazon.com
For anyone interested in Northwest Native Plants, this is an essential reference. Arthur Lee Jacobsen's "Wild Plants of Greater Seattle" is another useful book, although not as detailed. "Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest", by Charles Leo Hitchcock, in 7 volumes for $300.00, is much more detailed but not as handy. I have used my "Pojar" so much that I wore it out and had to get a second copy. I found it useful when I was just beginning to learn about native plants, and now that I can identify over 200 species on sight, I still use it to learn about ethnobotany, which plants are edible, and where to plant them in my garden.

Another reviewer complained that the book does not list common names in the index. This is just plain wrong. You can look up plants in the index by common name or scientific name, or you can browse through the photos until you get a match. You can also use the keys, which is the best way to learn about the relationship of one species to another, but I'm usually too lazy to work through the process. The way the plants are grouped, it's easy to narrow it down and find your plant.

My one complaint about the book is that it is sometimes difficult to pin down whether or not a particular plant is actually a native. This is usually implied, especially when they tell how indigenous peoples used the plants in everday life, but I wish the plants were clearly marked Native and Non-Native.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Guide July 26 2005
By A. L. Hallock - Published on Amazon.com
I used this book extensively in a field class this summer and it was extremely helpful. Everything I would possibly want to know about NW flora was included in detail (even with sketches of individual leaves). Also, the ethnographic information regarding the uses of various herbal medicines was fascinating.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best for it's purpose Dec 4 2005
By Dennis Mitton - Published on Amazon.com
This is by far the best study and field guide to Northwest plants. Nothing else comes close to being so inclusive. Because of that, I think, the book can be a bit difficult to get through. I little knowledge of plants will help tremendously in using the guide. There are a couple dozen or so keys for various plant families but be warned that keying plants can be difficult. The pictures are great and the notes that accompany each picture are top notch. One thing I like is that the author gives copious notes about aboriginal and regional use of the plants as well as notes about their natural history. There's really a life time of learning here. Great book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best for the Northwest Oct. 20 2008
By Kristen in Arizona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a staple for plant identification in the Northwest. As a plant biologist for the National Park service, this was the book we never went into the field without. Because of it's clear color photographs, thorough taxonomical descriptions, and wide array of species, it was the first we would consult, and then cross reference with other resources if we needed to. It's also quite durable!
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