Books ...

These books are good introductions to the area and/or to native plants.

Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest by Mark Turner and Phyllis Gustafson. This book is meant to be used in the field as you travel across the Pacific Northwest. The gorgeous photos of 1,220 flowering plants are arranged by color and then by flower shape. A short description of the important features that distinguish similar plants is very helpful, as is the small map with the distribution of the plant throughout the Northwest. Plants in central and eastern Washington and Oregon and the Siskiyous in Oregon are emphasized because these areas are often neglected in flower books.
Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary by Ronald J. Taylor. A different format than the original edition, this is an excellent addition to your library of flower books even if you have the original. It contains more photos, with the identifications easier to reference. A good book for beginners in the field.
Washington Watchable Wildflowers: A Columbia Basin Guide, from the BLM. Contains excellent plant lists for suggested trips to a variety of locations in or close to our area along with maps and brief descriptions. The McBee Road site overlooking Benton City is one of the sites listed as is Cowiche Canyon on the west edge of Yakima.
Singing Grass, Burning Sage: Discovering Washington's Shrub-Steppe by Jack Nisbet. A celebration in photos and text of Washington's vast and, for the most part, unpopulated arid lands, this book provides an introduction to the 10.5-million-acre region dominated by sagebrush and bunchgrass, dotted by lush coulees and stunning basalt cliffs. Produced in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Washington, this fascinating book features more than 70 color photographs of the wild habitats and inhabitants of this breathtaking extension of American West.
Wildflowers of Washington by C. P. Lyons. Color photos and complete descriptions of nearly 500 species of Washington wildflowers, organized by flower color. Includes locations and ranges, ecological zones, and Native American uses of the plant.
Northwest Dryland Wildflowers: Sagebrush-Ponderosa by Visalli, Lockwood, and Ditchburn. Gives brief descriptions and lots of pictures of wildflowers and flowering shrubs growing from our very dry area to those like Wenatchee or the east slopes of the Cascades that are a bit higher and wetter. There are also companion books on coastal wildflowers and mountain wildflowers.
Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest by Robert Parish. Over 675 species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens commonly found in the region from the crest of the Rockies to the Coast Mountains, including the interior of Washington and Idaho. Detailed species descriptions are combined with concise drawings and color photographs to make plant identification easy.
Washington's Best Wildflower Hikes by Charles Gurche. Helps those of us who like to hike amongst the wildflowers find the right times and places to go in Washington. There are quite a few hikes in southern Cascades, as well as in the Blue Mountains, eastern Washington scablands and the Palouse.
Wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge by Russ Jolley. A comprehensive guide to wildflower species in the Columbia River Gorge. Contains 744 entries, each with a full-color photograph. Each entry lists the flower's common and scientific names, general habitat, blooming dates, and specific plant locations. The guide contains a series of suggested field trips throughout the blooming season, and includes a glossary of place names, a table of blooming dates, and a full-color, fold-out, waterproof map.
A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers by Theodore F. Niehaus, illustrated by Charles L. Ripper. Descriptions and illustrations, some in color, of 1,492 species of wildflowers found from British Columbia to Baja California, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Grouped by color, each species description includes field marks, size, habitat, range, flowering season, and common and scientific names.
Northwest Penstemons : 80 Species of Penstemon Native to the Pacific Northwest by Dee Strickler, illustrated by Anne Morley. A field guide to 80 species of Penstemons found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Includes many large color photographs, line drawings for each species and a range map showing where each is found.
Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual by Charles Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist. Designed for the serious botanist, this is the definitive reference manual to Northwest flora.
Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America by Dale H. Vitt, Janet E. Marsh, and Robin B. Bovey. A field guide to mosses, liverworts, lichens, and ferns of the Northwest. Over 370 species are listed, each with a full-color photograph. The species included are representative of the area from Alaska to southern Oregon and from the Pacific Ocean to Montana and Saskatchewan.
Out of print
Alpine and Subalpine Vegetation of the Wallowa, Seven Devils, and Blue Mountains by Charles Johnson. The first half of this book discusses the types and occurrences of different plant communities in mountains of eastern Oregon and western Idaho as well as their ecological importance and significance. The second half includes descriptions, photos, and sketches of a large number of trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses.
Common Plants of the Inland Pacific Northwest by Charles Johnson. A good book for people interested in upland plants, such as those that might be found in the foothills of the Blue Mountains and higher. It provides descriptions, photos, sketches and habitat information on 200 trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs.
Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest by Bruce McCune and Linda Geiser. Lichens can be found in almost any natural habitat in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to contributing to biological diversity, lichens are ecologically important as food, shelter, and nesting material for wildlife. Color photographs, illustrations, and full-page detailed descriptions are provided for over 200 species, emphasizing those found in forested ecosystems.
Encyclopedia of Northwest Native Plants for Gardening and Landscaping by Kathleen A. Robson, Alice Richter, and Marianne Filbert. Comprehensive reference describes garden-worthy native ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. Features some 530 species that occur from SW Alaska to the Oregon border with California, and from the coast east to Idaho. Contains photos by local member Sally Simmons.
Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest by Russell Link. Russell Link is a wildlife biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He also has extensive experience in the field of landscape architecture. This guide to wildlife landscaping in the Pacific Northwest is a wonderful survey of native plants for wildlife and the techniques of conservation landscaping. Recommended as a resource for landscape designers and wildlife managers, as well as home gardeners.
Gardening With Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest by Arthur R. Kruckeberg. Whether you "go native" all the way or mix natives with exotics, you can expect pleasure from the beauty that natives can bring to your garden. This book discusses more than 250 kinds of Northwest native plants, their natural habitats, distribution, uses in the garden, and methods of propagation.
Propagation of Pacific Northwest Native Plants by Robin Rose, Caryn E. C. Chachulski, and Diane L. Haase. Provides propagation information on nearly 140 native plants. Designed for use by both nursery professionals and home gardeners, this working manual presents the most current and comprehensive information in this emerging field. Drawn from forestry and agricultural journals, as well as gardening and horticultural handbooks and personal sources, the techniques presented here offer invaluable direction to those who wish to grow native plants.
The Wild Lawn Handbook: Alternatives to the Traditional Front Lawn by Stevie Daniels. A guide to transforming the traditional grass lawn into a beautiful alternative lawn using native grasses, ferns, mosses, wildflowers, low-growing shrubs, and perennials. Includes detailed instructions on choosing a wild lawn, installing and maintaining the lawn, and even a chapter on landscaping ordinances.
Noah's Garden : Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards by Sara Stein. Stein shows us how our landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology, wiping out entire communities of plants and animals. When Stein realized what her intensive efforts at making a garden had done, she set out to "ungarden." Her book interweaves an account of her efforts with an explanation of the ecology of gardens.