New Jersey Field Botany-Annotated Bibliography & Information Sources

Compiled by Karl Anderson, used with permission
WildflowersNewcomb, L. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. Little, Brown, and Company, Boston 1977. Includes about 1400 species, arranged by gross flower structure, plant type (shrub, vine, forb), branching pattern, and leaf characteristics, which incidentally makes it possible to identify some plants that are not in bloom. Illustrated with line drawings.

Peterson, R., and M. McKenny. A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, 1968. Includes about 1300 species, arranged by flower color. Also includes descriptions of some major plant families. Easy to use if the plant you want to identify is in bloom. Illustrated with line drawings and a few color paintings.


Brown, L.
Grasses-An Identification Guide. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, 1979. A non-technical introduction to this large and somewhat difficult group. Includes 135 common grasses and grasslike plants of the northeastern United States. Identification is generally by overall structure, shape, and size of plants rather than fine details of flower structure. Illustrated with line drawings.

Hitchcock, A. Manual of the Grasses of the United States-2nd Edition, Vols. 1-2. Dover Publications, New York, 1971; a reprint of a book published in 1950 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Somewhat dated, and highly technical, but well illustrated and complete. This is the classic text for identification of grasses.

Trees and Shrubs

Little, E.
The Audubon Society Field Guide to Eastern Trees. Knopf, New York, 1980. This book identifies 364 native and naturalized trees of eastern North America, north of subtropical Florida. Illustrated with photographs of leaves and bark for all species, with additional photographs of flowers, fruit, and autumn foliage for some species.

Petrides, G. A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs of Northeastern and North-central United States and Southeastern and South-centrall  Houghton-Mifflin, Co., Boston 1958. Not a particularly "pretty" book, and not particularly easy to use, but quite complete; includes almost every native or naturalized woody plant, from sub-shrubs to trees, within its range. Illustrated with line drawings.

Ferns and Fern Allies

Montgomery, J. and D. Fairbrothers.
New Jersey Ferns and Fern-Allies. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1992. Somewhat technical but well illustrated with line drawings, and worth owning if you have a special interest in ferns. Nomenclature does not quite agree with Flora of North America.Wherry, E. The Fern Guide-Northeastern and Midland United States and Adjacent Canada. Dover Publications, New York, 1995; a reprint of a book published in 1961 by Doubleday and Co. Somewhat dated, but the nomenclature is actually more up-to-date than most fern guides, and the pictures and descriptions are excellent.

Other Books:

Britton, N. and A. Brown.
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada, Vols. 1-3. Dover Publications, New York, 1970; a reprint of a book published in 1913 by Charles Scribner's Sons. Nomenclature very out of date. Highly technical, but inexpensive and completely illustrated.

Collins, B. and Karl Anderson. Plant Communities of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1994. A non-technical overview of some of the major plant communities of the state, with lists of some typical species for each; plus background information about New Jersey.

Gleason, H. and A. Cronquist. Manual of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada-2nd edition. New York Botanical Garden, 1991. Technical, not illustrated, and already somewhat out-of-date, but the most recent manual to cover the entire flora of our area.

Holmgren, N. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. New York Botanical Garden. 1998. This oversized volume has good illustrations (but no text) for all the species iin Gleason and Cronquist's manual.

Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford University Press. Six volumes of this projected 26 volume work have been published to date. Some of the major groups covered so far include ferns, orchids, sedges, lilies, aroids, rushes, and conifers. Technical and comprehensive.

Web Sites:

USDA National Plants Database.
<> has range maps, current nomenclature (English and scientific), synonymy, and much other iinformation about all U.S. plants, native and introduced.

New Jersey Natural Heritage Program: <>. Has lists of threatened and endangered species (plants and animals), ecological community lists, information on the Natural Heritage program.

Local Organizations:

Philadelphia Botanical Club. <>

Torrey Botanic Club <>