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Author Topic: Book Review: Dakota Flora - Not your average plant book  (Read 4100 times)
Distinguished Botanist
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« on: November 19, 2007, 09:08:31 PM »

Dakota Flora: a seasonal sampler   by David J. Ode  Published in 2006 by the South Dakota State historical Society Press

I learned of this book through the newsletter of the Wyoming Native Plant Society.  The review by WNPS was so intriguing that I purchased the book while we were traveling in South Dakota earlier this year.

In spite of the title, this book is not a flora. It is a collection of short essays on plants (usually, although a few of fungi slip in) that have a significant meaning to the author, in the context of his life  of South Dakota.  The book touches on the botanical history of South Dakota from the early explorers through the twentieth century, favorite plants, conservation of native flora, exotic species issues, general natural history, and there is even a solid sprinkling of poetry thrown in. 

Some of the species covered are widespread and would be familiar to the southern reader as well: Apios americana, Ariseama triphyllum, Lilium philadelphicum, Monarda fistulosa, and Typha latifolia to mention a few.  Mr. Ode is a marvelous storyteller and I read the book alternately reacquainting myself with old friends (plants I too am very comfortable with), and meeting new ones.

I have read the book multiple times since summer and routinely browse through the essays for light reading when I want to unwind.  Anyone with an interest in plants or an interst ingood stories would enjoy this book.


Rich Reaves
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