Really enjoyed indexing this book, largely because it was so straightforward–common names, Latin/taxonomy names, and lots and lots of pictures with little descriptions. Over a thousand pages that must have taken great effort to collect the information and images for. Just a massive undertaking. Robert Shaw provides nice, concise and informative background info and descriptions for each plant, and Paul Montgomery’s photos are stunning.
And you’d think you’d get bored going through page after page of similar species scattered all over Texas. Not so.
We humans are so funny; one Latin name for each species, but one-to-five “common” names that folklore has come up with to describe the grass as observed in daily life.
But the variety! The richness of nature in slender stalks of green and seed pods of brown. They grow everywhere, in virtually every kind of soil and climate condition (and Texas has quite a variety of those, from the subtropics of the coast to the high plains and mountains of the north and deserts of the west).
And most importantly, Matt (my hubby who typed most of the names in on first draft) and I were just amazed at how fundamental grasses are to human survival and abundance. Yeah, your lawn is pretty and all that, but your bread is made of grass, along with just about everything you eat that’s not legume, meat, or fruit (barley, corn, millet, oat, rice, rye, sorghum, wheat, rice).
So, especially if you’re a nature walker and explorer in Texas, this is a great catalog of all the grasses for you to use as a reference. You can find it at Amazon here.