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Botany in a Day – Book Review


Botany in a Day Review Nature Book Project @handbookofnaturestudy

This month I read and pondered over the Botany in a Day book, thinking about the suggestions given in this book for learning more deeply about the plants in my own habitat. Since it has been on my shelf for a few years, I am reviewing the fifth edition of the book. With the sixth edition, he added full color illustrations! (ISBN 978-1892784353)

It has turned my world upside down by showing me that there is more wisdom to using the patterns in the different plant families to identify a plant rather than by using the color and shape of the flowers. Most field guides organize their flowers by color and then by flower type. The Botany in a Day method uses the distinct attributes of a plant family to get you close in identifying a flower.

The author explains that by learning the most common and unique patterns found in plant families you will learn more about the plant…more than just a name.

There are a few pages at the beginning of the book that deal with plant names and classifications that I found rather interesting. There is a rather long section on the evolution of plants that I skimmed through quickly since it doesn’t interest me much.

Then the meat of the book helps you learn how to key out a plant using specific observations for every plant/flower. I think this is where the “botany in a day” title comes from…the method is easily understood in a day, not the learning of everything there is to know about plants. I can see how focusing first on the most common plant families first will help you get started with applying the method of identification, building your confidence to learn more families after that. The most common families are highlighted in the index and the author suggests you start with those.

I love that you are to learn about a plant family and then go out and look for plants that fit the pattern right in your own yard and neighborhood. The author also suggests paging through field guides to train your eye to see the patterns.

Botany in a Day Mustard Family Journal Page @handbookofnaturestudy

You will be seeing me work through this book in the months to come. I hope to learn one family at a time (starting with the mustard family) and then apply what I learn in my day to day observations of plants both in my yard and along the trails of California.

Additional Information


This book is part of my Nature Book Project for 2016. I purchased this book with my own money and am providing my honest opinions about the book.

Nature Book Project 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy

Note some of the links below are affiliate links.

January- Discover Nature Close to Home

February-A Place for Birds and A Place for Butterflies

March- A Crow Doesn’t Need A Shadow

April- The Practical Naturalist

May- Break month.

June-Botany in a Day

July- Rockhounding Nevada (postponed)

August- Break month.

September- The 10 Best of Everything National Parks

October- The Nature Handbook

November- Bringing Nature Home (postponed)

December- Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling



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