Monday, May 23, 2011

Los Angeles Audubon :: Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide

Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide
by Campbell & Lynne Loughmiller
Buy It Now
Welcome to the revised edition of Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide, by Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller. A lot can change in 22 years, not the least of which are the names we associate with the wildflowers in the first edition but we will come to that shortly.

Since the Loughmillers' guide was first published in 1984, more than 155,000 copies of Texas Wildflowers have been sold, placing it among the top three bestsellers for the University of Texas Press. Those who subscribe to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy might question the reasons for a new edition, especially one that departs so radically in appearance from the first. Let's start by judging the book by its cover, literally. The cover stock is made of a much more durable material to ensure longer life in the field, and the book is a bit narrower, to facilitate carrying it in a pack or pocket. These physical changes are all part of the University of Texas Press plan to develop a complete series of natural history field guides, covering everything that creeps, crawls, runs, swims, flies, or grows in our fair state. Texas Wildflowers is the second book published in this University of Texas Press natural history series.

Within the pages of this edition, great care was taken to preserve the spirit of the original text, including the original foreword written by Lady Bird Johnson. In it, she refers to the National Wildflower Research Center founded in 1982 on a farm-to-market road near Austin. In 1995, the National Wildflower Research Center moved to a 43-acre site off Loop 1 (MoPac) in south Austin. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to honor the center's co-founder and chairperson. Today, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's 279-acre site serves as a model native plant botanic garden with programs that protect, conserve, and restore our natural plant heritage. It is a must-see if you are ever in the Austin area.

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