Please note: newer material has been published since we wrote this page. We plan to update this soon; contact us with any questions. (April 2015)


The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California
James C. Hickman, Editor
University of California Press
Online treatments

This new flora for California is a monumental achievement and useful for Arizona plant identification as well. In many cases it is preferable to our 1960 Arizona Flora when working with plants from western Arizona. The Jepson Manual contains keys, and many line drawings which emphasize diagnostic characters. The families are arranged alphabetically.

The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California
Bruce Balwin, Steve Boyd, Barbara J. Ertter, Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Dieter H. Wilken
University of California Press

The first comprehensive field guide focused exclusively on the native and naturalized vascular plants of California's southeastern deserts. Based on The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California

A Manual of the Flowering Plants of California
Willis L. Jepson
University of California Press

This older manual of California plants is superseded by the 1993 Jepson Manual. Some prefer the presentation here, without the potentially confusing abbreviations used throughout the Jepson Manual. This older book lacks documentation of the many new discoveries (particularly exotic species) now known for CA. Illustrated with line drawings.

A Flora of Southern California
Philip A. Munz
University of California Press

While the new 1993 Jepson Manual would appear to replace this book, Munz's flora has an advantage, particularly for Arizona users. By focusing on only the Southern California flora, this treatment eliminates many northern plants from the keys, making this volume quicker and less confusing for keying widespread plant groups. Illustrated with line drawings.

Illustrated Flora of the Pacific States
Leroy Abrams
Stanford University Press

In four volumes, this set covers the plants of Washington, Oregon, and California. This work is appreciated for its references to synonomy and original publications, and for its copious line drawings featuring enlargements of diagnostic features, especially seed, fruit and flower characters. Keys, which cover such a broad geographic range, can be overly inclusive for utility at the extremes of this range.

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A Utah Flora
Stanley L. Welsh, N. Duane Atwood, Sherel Goodrich, and Larry C. Higgins
Brigham Young University

This flora contains keys and very detailed descriptions. This is a valuable resource for obtaining ddescriptionsfor taxa that overlap with Arizona. Often included are valuable notes and aauthorsoptions about current taxonomic issues of each taxon. It does not contain illustrations nor distribution maps.

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Intermountain Flora
Arthur Cronquist, Arthur H. Holmgren, Noel H. Holmgren, James L. Reveal, and Patricia K. Holmgren
1972 -
New York Botanical Garden

Nevada lacks a complete published flora. The Intermountain Flora covers a region of the Western US including most of Nevada, all of Utah, and parts of ajoining states including the Grand Canyon region of northern Arizona. Now in six volumes, the Intermountain Flora is not complete. The numbering scheme of these volumes can be confusing - presently available are Vol. 1 (Cryptogams and Gymnosperms), Vol. 2: part B (Dilleniidae), Vol. 3: part A (Rosidae, excluding Fabales), Vol. 3: part B (Fabales), Vol. 4 (Asteridae, excluding Asteraceae), Vol. 5 (Asterales), and Vol. 6 (Monocotyledons). Each is bound separately. They contain keys, excellent line drawings, and references to original publications.

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A Flora of New Mexico
William C. Martin and Charles R. Hutchins

In two large volumes, this work provides distribution maps by county, and has line drawings, these of rather poor quality and not useful for diagnostic comparison. The two volumes are fleshed out with a great deal of white space (as contrasted to the compact print of the Jepson Manual). In addition, some users find the keys to be awkward to use.

Flora of New Mexico
E. O. Wooton and Paul C. Standley
Washington, Government Printing Office

This text shows its age, but contains useful references to original publications.

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Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas
Donnovan S. Correll, Marshall C. Johnston, and collaborators
The Texas Research Foundation

This is a significant work, with keys, but no illustrations or distribution maps.

Flora of North Central Texas
George M. Diggs, Jr, Barney L. Lipscomb, and Robert J. O'Kennon
Botanical Research Institute of Texas and Austin College

While rather far afield to be ffrequentlyused for Arizona botany, this huge and attractive book is often consulted for its current treatment of taxonomy. Contains keys, line drawings, a color photo section, and useful notes and symbols to toxicity, endemicism, and introduced species.

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Flora of North America
Flora of North America Committee, editors
1993, 1997, 2000
Oxford University Press
eFloras - online floras
ActKeys - online keys

With four volumes available to date, the Flora of North America is our most current and definitive reference covering our area. The project is far from finished, but the pteridophytes and gymnosperms, and several angiosperm groups are already completed. Contains keys, line drawings, and distribution maps.


Flora of the Gran Desierto and Rio Colorado of Northwestern Mexico
Richard S. Felger
University of Arizona Press

This newly published flora of Northwestern Sonora has rapidly become an indispensible text around the Herbarium. Written for the area of the Pinacates and upper Colorado river in Mexico, and very useful for the Yuma area and Southwestern parts of Arizona. Richard Felger has provided us with a list of errata which can be found here:

Excuses, corrections, and additions to the Flora of the Gran Desierto

Flora Neotropica
various authors
1967 - 1997
The New York Botanical Garden

These volumes (currently 75) are issued as a series of monographs, covering taxa that occur between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (north-central Mexico through south-central South America). While this area does not include Arizona or adjacent portions of Mexico, these monographs do include recent treatments of many plant groups which occur in our state.

Flora Novo-Galiciana, a descriptive account of the vascular plants of Western Mexico
Rogers McVaugh, William R. Anderson
1983 - 1993
The University of Michigan Herbarium

Like the Flora Neotropica, this is a series of monographic works covering a region of Mexico not adjacent to Arizona. The volumes are numbered in a phylogenetic series rather than chronologically as published.

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People of the Desert and Sea - Ethnobotany of the Seri Indians
Richard S. Felger and Mary B. Moser
The University of Arizona Press

Living along the arid shores of the Gulf of California, the Seri people harvested more than 90 species of plants for food and more than 100 species of plants as medicine. They are the only people known to have harvested a grain growing beneath the sea. Ethnobotanist Richard Felger and linguist Mary Beck Moser provide detailed information on Seri use and knowledge of more than 400 plants, presented within the context of Seri history and culture. This profusely illustrated book captures an ancient way of life as lived by a contemporary people.

Florida Ethnobotany
Daniel F. Austin - home page
CRC Press

Winner of the 2005 Klinger Book Award Presented by The Society for Economic Botany. Florida Ethnobotany is a culmination of almost a half century of ethnobotanical investigations. It provides a cross-cultural examination of how the native plants of Florida have been used by its various peoples. This compilation Includes common names of plants in their historical sequence, weaving together what was formerly esoteric information about each species into a full reference.

Corrections and additions since publication: html or pdf

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