This classic of midwestern natural history is back in print with a new format and new photographs. Originally published in 1989, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie introduced many naturalists to the beauty and diversity of the native plants of the huge grasslands that once stretched from Manitoba to Texas. Now redesigned with updated names and all-new photographs, this reliable field companion will introduce tallgrass prairie wildflowers to a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts in the Upper Midwest.
Each species account is accompanied by a brilliant full-page color photograph by botanist Thomas Rosburg. In clear, straightforward, and accessible prose, authors Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa provide common, scientific, and family names; the Latin or Greek meaning of the scientific names; habitat and blooming times; and a complete description of plant, flower, and fruit. Particularly interesting is the information on the many ways in which Native Americans and early pioneers used these plants for everything from pain relief to dyes to hairbrushes.
Runkel and Roosa say that prairies can be among the most peaceful places on earth; certainly they are among the most beleaguered. Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie will inspire both amateurs and professionals with the desire to learn more about the wonders of the prairie landscape.
Sylvan Runkel (1906–1995) is the coauthor of five books about midwestern wildflowers, including Wildflowers of the Iowa Woodlands and Wildflowers and Other Plants of Iowa Wetlands. A vigorous promoter of conservation for many years, he was honored by the dedication of the Sylvan Runkel State Preserve in 1996. Conservationist Dean Roosa has served as Iowa’s state ecologist, board member for the Iowa Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Natural Areas Association, chair of the Iowa Natural History Association, and president of the Iowa Ornithologists' Union. He is the coauthor of The Vascular Plants of Iowa: An Annotated Checklist and Natural History (Iowa, 1994).
“In wave after wave of floral successions in indigo, pale lavender, crimson, gold, cream, white, and magenta—in every tone and hue of the artist’s palette—the prairie flowers come on . . . beginning with ground-hugging pasque flowers and birdsfoot violets and climaxing with towering sunflowers. . . . All of these, and more, are carefully and lovingly treated in the following pages by Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa, a pair of long-time prairie ramblers who know the tallgrass country and the native flowers to be found there.”—from the foreword by John Madson