Home   About Us   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Plant Books
FloraFinder uses cookies only for correct operation. More info. Okay

Flora Bibliography

Flora are reference books firmly targeted at professional botanists. They are dense with specialized terminology, richly detailed, and serve as the ultimate arbiters of botanical description. They are also extremely difficult to produce, and are hence updated only every century or so.

Note: book cover sizes in the list below are shown relative to each other. The list is organized by primary author. Some out-of-copyright books are available free at the supplied links.

An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions

Author(s): Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Brown, Addison

Published: 1913

View at: Download free from the Internet Archive Biodiversity Heritage Library

Comments: This magnificant 3-volume text, approaching 2,000 pages, describes and illustrates thousands of flowering plants. That a work from 1913 still serves as a most respected reference today is testimony enough to scope and quality of this work; that two people assembled it is even more amazing.

Covers the northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions.

The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California

Author(s): Editors: Baldwin, Bruce G.; Goldman, Douglas H.; Keil, David J.; Patterson, Robert; Rosatti, Thomas J.; Wilken, Dieter H.

Publisher: University of California Press, Ltd., 2012

ISBN: 978-0520253124

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: Producing a comprehensive assessment of the plants in even a typical state is a task of monumental proportions. For a state that is larger than most countries, one that spans a huge range of latitudes and altitudes, which experiences nearly every extreme of temperature, precipitation, and growing season, it is almost inconceivably hard. The Jepson Manual is justifiably famous for its scope and detail. Covering 7,600 species, it substantially outstrips other flora references. Comprised of a mere 1568 pages printed at a size small enough to demand a magnifying lens, it includes comprehensive keys, detailed descriptions, and detailed line drawings of species. Like most comprehensive flora, the Jepson Manual is not for amateurs. It is targeted firmly at botanical pros who annotate species and track how they change in response to changes in climate. If you are such a pro; you probably already have a copy; if not, you can find its information online in the Jepson eFlora.


Flora Novae Angliae: a Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalizaed Higher Vascular Plants of New England

Author(s): Hains, Arthur; Farnsworth, Elizabeth & Morrison, Gordon (illus.)

Publisher: Yale University Press, 2011

ISBN: 978-0300171549

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This highly technical book, 973 pages in length, is the standard reference for New England higher vascular plants. It is a dichotomous key for an amazing 3,500 species, with 950 line drawings. If you really know your botany, and you're interested in plants in New Engalnd, this is the book for you. Similar comprehensive flora, independently produced, exist for many other states and regions.


Flora Batava, Vol. 1

Author(s): Jan Kops (1765–1849); illustrated by Christiaan Sepp

Publisher: The Hague, 1800

View at: A collection of historic and modern biology books.

Comments: Flora Batava is a beautifully illustrated flora published in 28 volumes, spanning a time period of 134 years, from 1800 to 1934.

Bilder ur Nordens Flora

Author(s): Lindman, Carl Axel Magnus

Published: 1926

View at: List of species drawings at Project Runeberg

Comments: Wonderful detailed paintings of various species.

Covers Sweden.

Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Chronquist’s Manual: Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada

Author(s): Noel H. Holmgren

Publisher: New York Botanical Garden, 1998

View at: New York Botanical Garden

Comments: This book is the penultimate identification reference for Northeastern North American vascular plants (i.e. wildflowers, trees and shrubs, and grasses and grasslike plants). It is packed with exquisitely detailed black & white line drawings of innumerable species (827 drawings, each of many species). The brilliantly rendered drawings convey more detail about each species that most color photographs. This volume is a companion to Gleason and Cronquist Manual and The New Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora, which contains keys and descriptions. I can't say enough in favor of this volume. 919 pages.

Northeastern quadrant of the United States, plus nearby Canada (but not far to the north of the US border)

Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen

Author(s): Sturm, Johann Georg (Painter: Jacob Sturm)

Publisher: Nrnberg: Gedruckt auf Kosten des Verfassers, 1796

View at: Download free from the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Comments: This German guide contains color paintings and descriptions of a variety of plants. It is about 574 pages long.

Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien

Author(s): Taubert, Paul Hermann Wilhelm (1862-1897); Engelmann (ed.)

Published: 1891

View at: Download or browse free at the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz.

Author(s): Thomé, Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm

Published: 1885

View at: Download book free from the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Covers Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Flora of Virginia

Author(s): Weakley, Alan S.; Ludwig, J. Christopher; Townsend, John F.; Crowder, Bland (Ed.)

Publisher: Botanical Research Institute of Texas Press, 2013

ISBN: 978-1889878386

View at: Flora of Virginia Project, or Amazon

Comments: I'm not sure where to start with the superlatives here. Flora are very specialized works intended for professional botanists. They combine complex identification keys, detailed species descriptions that are virtually incomprehensible to the unintiated, and precise line drawings that capture identifying features. All flora are towering accomplishments. This one is my favorite. The organization and layout seem to me to be flawless. Drawings are integrated into the descriptive material. Typography is necessarily cramped, but still readable. There is an aesthetic appeal to this document that stands out. It makes a dry, academic tome more approachable, easier to use. Species are organized taxonomically, as is typically the case with flora. Included are vascular spore-bearing plants, gymnosperms (cone-bearing plants), and flowering plants. Descriptions are very thorough. Keys are laid out readably. Drawings are exquisite, reproduced perfectly. As the creators of this work note, this flora appears “not a century too soon”—the last such flora for Virginia was issued 250 years ago! There is also a project to make this available as an app. 1554 pages.


Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants

Author(s): Wunderlin, R. P., and B. F. Hansen

Publisher: Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa, 2008

View at: The Institute for Systematic Botany Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants

Comments: From the web site: “The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants is a joint effort by the Institute for Systematic Botany, the University of South Florida and the Florida Center for Community Design + Research to provide users with a comprehensive searchable database of vascular plants in the State of Florida. Florida, with over 4,200 species of native or naturalized ferns and seed plants, is the third most floristically diverse state in the United States. The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants provides a source of information for the distribution of plants within the state.”

Covers Florida.

Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida: Third Edition

Author(s): Wunderlin, Richard P.; Hansen, Bruce F.

Publisher: University Press of Florida, 2011

ISBN: 978-0813035437

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This extremely comprehensive flora describes more than 4,200 native and naturalized species in Florida. Included are pteridophytes (plants that reproduce by spores—ferns, horsetails, clubmosses, spikemosses and quillworts); gymnosperms (loosely speaking, cone-bearing plants, such as pines); monocotyledons and dicotyledons, or flowering plants. Species are presented in taxonomic order, with precise identifying keys. The entire book is a series of keys. The are no illustrations. This volume is not for the faint of heart—it is targeted at professional botanists. 781 pages.