An introductory field guide to common grasses - native and introduced
Illustrations and photographs by Margaret Elliott
Published in 2008 by Nullum Publications
Reviewed by Jan Sked
This field guide is very welcome, covering, as it does, many of the grasses we are likely to encounter in south-eastern Queensland. It is the third in a series of guides developed by Margaret Elliott and Penny Watsford to help provide information for interested amateurs to identify the often overlooked small plants of our bushland.
In the book, 72 of the most likely grasses to be seen are described and illustrated by line drawings, with a page devoted to each species. Each drawing has labels indicating the features of interest. Both native and introduced species have been included.
Grasses are divided into five groups according to their approximate size - low-growing, creeping, ankle height - ankle to knee height - knee to waist height - above waist height - over shoulder height. This is an excellent way of depicting them, as it is the way you will notice them when walking in the bush.
The text is simple and in plain English, and there is a glossary provided to cater for any unavoidable technical terms. There are also additional diagrams to illustrate the parts of a plant and the various types of seed heads that may be encountered. These form an addendum to the glossary.
The book comes in the ideal field guide A5 size and is spirally bound with a clear plastic covering sheet to protect it. There are 105 pages, including an index, foreword, introduction, acknowledgements, references and contacts.
It comes with a CD featuring approximately 530 photographs of 126 species of grass to assist with more accurate identification.
This is the book I have been waiting for, as I find identifying grasses very difficult and the more technical books hard to follow. With the excellent line drawings, backed up by photographs on the CD, I am hopeful of becoming more conversant with the grasses of our area and also be able to distinguish the native from the exotic.
It is also of interest that this book deals with real grasses, not the sedges, lomandras and dianellas that are so often promoted as grasses in the nursery trade.
Price: $20.00 + postage - 1 book = $5.00 2-8 books = $10.00
Cheques, money orders and direct debit accepted - please email for bank details.
PO Box 1152, Murwillumbah, NSW. 2484