Best plants in biological sciences books according to redditors

We found 168 Reddit comments discussing the best plants in biological sciences books. We ranked the 68 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Science of cacti & succulents books
Flowers in biological sciences books
Mushrooms in biological sciences books
Trees in biological sciences books

Top Reddit comments about Plants in Biological Sciences:

u/FriesWithThat · 37 pointsr/pics

I read an awesome book by Richard Preston that got me interested in Redwoods and the type of person that would risk their life by climbing them called The Wild Trees. There are whole stands of these giants that they discovered within Redwood National Park that dwarf the easily accessible famous examples such as General Sherman. Seeing as how you have to hike over and around their fallen comrades with trunk diameters of up to 30 feet it's nearly impossible to get to them. These guys would spend the night suspended high up in their crowns while all around them widowmakers would break off in the wind. Just thought I'd recommend this book to you guys if you find this stuff interesting.

u/najjex · 28 pointsr/mycology

Start by picking a guide for your area and reading it thoroughly, especially focusing on the anatomy of a mushroom. Go hunting a lot bringing back what you find, take spore prints and work though the IDs. Also joining a NAMA affiliated club will help tremendously.

Regional guides


Common Interior Alaska Cryptogams

Western US

All The Rain Promises and More
Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest

Midwestern US

Mushrooms of the Midwest

Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States

Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest

Southern US

Texas Mushrooms: A Field Guide

Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States

Midwestern US

Mushrooms of the Midwest

Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States

Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest

Eastern US

Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians

Mushrooms of Northeast North America (This was out of print for awhile but it's they're supposed to be reprinting so the price will be normal again)

Mushrooms of Northeastern North America

Macrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America(Macrofungi Associated with Oaks of Eastern North America)

Mushrooms of Cape Cod and the National Seashore

More specific guides

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World

North American Boletes

Tricholomas of North America

Milk Mushrooms of North America

Waxcap Mushrooms of North America

Ascomycete of North America

Ascomycete in colour

Fungi of Switzerland: Vol. 1 Ascomycetes


For Pholiotas

For Chlorophyllum

For parasitic fungi, Hypomyces etc "Mushrooms that Grow on other Mushrooms" by John Plischke. There's a free link to it somewhere but I cant find it.

Websites that aren't in the sidebar

For Amanita

For coprinoids

For Ascos

MycoQuebec: they have a kickass app but it's In French

Messiah college this has a lot of weird species for polypores and other things

Books that provide more info than field Mycology

The Kingdom of Fungi Excellent coffee table book has nice pictures and a breif guide to Fungal taxonomy and biology.

The Fifth Kingdom A bit more in depth

Introduction toFungi Textbook outlining metobolic, taxonomic and ecological roles of fungi. Need some level of biochemistry to have a grasp for this one but it's a good book to have.

u/[deleted] · 20 pointsr/askscience

Decades of suppression have led to the build-up of large amounts of forest debris. Additional problems include a massive increase in the density of trees per acre; from this paper:

>For example, more than 50 times more ponderosa pine trees currently occur in old-growth forests of the Gus Pearson Natural Area in northern Arizona than occurred in 1876 at the time of settlement (Mast et al. 1999).

This has several effects if you don't allow small ground fires to occur:

  1. You don't kill off young trees. Too many survive; tree density increases.

  2. Too many trees = not enough water. Without water to produce sap, bark beetles go nuts. Trees start dying- even more fuel.

  3. Ground fuels build up. This leads to larger fires, and ladder fuels that bring fires into the canopy- remember, the trees are already dry to begin with, a function of drought, and of trees that are at too high a density for what little precipitation there is.

  4. Once debris on the ground builds up to some critical level, tree roots start growing up and out of the mineral soil. Wildfires that moonscape the terrain, outright killing small trees, spare the large ones- but the old trees succumb to fire later on, as the ground fires kill the roots that have grown upward into the debris that is scorched off.

    Of course, the blame lies in decades of fire suppression- a function of "oh the poor wild animals" (which have adapted to routine, small ground fires in a spectacular fashion- but not the huge crown fires of much death that have resulted), and of industry and commerce protecting their interests (relatively high tree density).

    This book has interesting insights if you care for them. I would elaborate upon any of the points I've made or any questions you might have. It's a very complicated subject that isn't well suited to terse answers.
u/letdogsvote · 5 pointsr/Seattle

If you want something that will actually be thorough and help you out, this one right here is what you want. It's a serious reference with a ton of great information and not a pretty little coffee table book about wild berries.

u/craigbeartiger · 4 pointsr/biology

Many flowers with typically white petals will have pinkish variation, and vice versa. For instance if you've identifying a flower using a dichotomous key, like Gleason and Cronquist, one of last steps in the key will often say petals: white or pink.

u/illythid15 · 4 pointsr/Bushcraft

I've read some books on medicinal plants, native herbology, and ethnobotany in the Pacific Northwest. There are references to a smoking mixture sometimes called kinnikinnik - but sometimes kinnikinnik refers to the bearberry plant.

A few books - (Amazon links):
Plants of the Pacific Northwest

Ethnobotany of Western Washington

Indian Herbology of North America

Some sources indicate the inner bark of the red dogwood tree is mixed with bearberry leaves - dried and crushed for smoking, smudging and ritual use. I have seen mullein and even devil's club mentioned in some references after a brief search.

I haven't looked specifically into smoking herbs or mixtures, but these are the books I'd start with.

u/xenwall · 4 pointsr/mycology

Here's the specific resources link via the /r/mycology FAQ.

I have their Texas recommendation, Texas Mushrooms: A Field Guide and while it's a good general guide Texas is too vast and varied for it to be universally perfect. That being said, while it's imperfect for me in the Hill Country there are a lot of East Texas entries (I believe the authors are based out of Houston) and so it will probably be far more useful to you than to myself. Overall I'd recommend it for you as at the very least it will introduce you to the concepts and methodology and covers a lot of the bases. There's only so much you can ask for out of a field guide anyways, since hauling around an encyclopedia isn't practical.

u/William_Harzia · 4 pointsr/preppers

Not useful at all. Identifying edibles and discerning them from indigestible or toxic plants requires a much more detailed plant guide. For my region I like this one

u/lulimay · 3 pointsr/backpacking

Definitely depends on your location. Here in the PNW we love Pojar, and I'm betting there's a favored guide in your area :) For that matter I have an additional guidebook for the Olympics, so even relatively small areas can have a lot of diversity that can be difficult to fit into a single guide. What you'll need depends on where you roam.

u/Decapod73 · 3 pointsr/whatsthisplant

Hawthorns are a mess of a genus. Even the authoritative book on the genus within the US admits that many of the species are poorly defined, seeming to slowly blend from one to another across their range.

u/iofthebeholder · 3 pointsr/foraging

Foraging the Mountain West by Thomas Elpel and Kris Reed was only published last June, so I don't think a lot of people have had the chance to check it out yet, but I have a fairly large foraging library and consider this one the most informative of the bunch in terms of describing specifically how to process foraged foods, with clear pictures of the steps. It also includes a wider variety of food sources than most.

The paper stock is not as tough as some guides, and the authors approach "foraging" in a broader sense than most, including brief sections on hunting carp with spears, processing fresh roadkill, and even dumpster diving! but like Elpel says if the point is self sufficiency and lower cost of living why ignore perfectly good food that's free for the taking just because some might consider it weird? kinda quirky, but a totally solid book with a lot of excellent information, many illustrative pictures, and a refreshing dash of DIY philosophy in it.

u/pawildernessskills · 3 pointsr/Bushcraft

This is what I use

*Edit:I have this one too, but I don't like it as much.

u/aagusgus · 3 pointsr/Surveying

This the best guide that I've found:

I'm on the West coast so I use the Western version, but I keep a copy of that in my glove box. After a while you get to where you can identify 95% of all the normal species in your area.

u/uneekusername · 3 pointsr/gardening

You found these in BC, Canada? I'm surprised- I didn't think Magnolias were found that far northwest and #3 looks just like a leaf from a tree that I didn't think ranged that far north, either.

I usually use a field manual from the the National Audobon Society to do this sort of thing. It will give you all the info you need to identify the type of magnolia. You might want to find a similar field manual for your region- your University library should have them.

For #3: If you find a guide like the one I mentioned, you'll want to look in the pictures section under "simple leaves, untoothed." Once you get a name, you can then go to that section and get all the details you'll need to confirm or determine the specific type.

u/panthersrule1 · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I love reading this stuff too. I’m a very outdoorsy person. So, if you want a nice non portable book about trees, there’s the david allen Sisley guide to trees. For portable, there are a lot more. The Audubon book is good, it just hasn’t been updated in a longtime. The Peterson guide is more recent and is good also. I’ll try to think of the books we have. My mom has a lot and has ones from her parents too. One that’s good is the national wildlife federation book on wildflowers. A new book that cool is one called wildflowers of the Appalachian trail. On trees, I really like an old edition of the golden guide to trees that we have. The Audubon guide to eastern us trees is good. I think Peterson is better than Audubon though. There is also a forestry department book on trees of around here that I have from middle school. Don’t worry, I’ll provide links to these books.

I’m going to post again once I go look at our bookshelf. This was just off the top of my head. Oh and it’s not a field guide, but you should read a walk in the woods by bill bryson.

u/nhlord · 3 pointsr/mycology

The two you've listed are my personal favorites. I also make use of National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, 100 Edible Mushrooms, North American Mushrooms: A Field guide to Edible and Inedible Fungi (not my favorite, but a useful cross reference at times), and Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America (this one has fantastic photos. While it is never recommended to ID by appearance alone, the cross cuts and underside photos in this book can be very useful). If you live in the southern east coast then I'd recommend Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States if you can find it affordably (as far as I know it is out of print and even used coppies are pretty expensive, but it is a fantastic book for southeastern mushrooms).

As far as websites I am a pretty frequent visitor of It offers some good keys and there are a lot of mushrooms listed.

u/BackToTheBasic · 3 pointsr/sfwtrees

What state are they located in?

This my favorite gardening tool. It is always on my belt and used for digging, planting, and weeding. This particular one has a quality sheath and full tang blade.

This is a nice pocket guide if they live on the west coast. It's pretty small.

u/LANDWEREin_theWASTE · 2 pointsr/Atlanta

Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests: Intown and Out

(also available at your local library)

u/HKNHamm · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

HERE is a better one for the Pacific Northwest. Comes recommended from many people I've encountered out on trails.

Also, use and they'll donate a portion of your purchase to a non-profit :)

u/spdave · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Get this cool little pocket book and your troubles are solved.

u/thereisonlyoneme · 2 pointsr/GeorgiaCampAndHike

I like this one for the days when you don't feel like driving a ways for a hike.

u/IDrinkSaladDressing · 2 pointsr/marijuanaenthusiasts

You should check this book out. Kinda fun to take on a winter walk in the woods in New England.

u/Curiously_John · 2 pointsr/botany

This one should cover that area pretty well, however it does require a certain level of understanding of botanical terminology. It has no pictures but is very usable once you get used to it and it is compact enough to be carried in the field, barely.
I would also recommend looking in new and used book stores for older more local guides. Don't forget a good hand lens too.

u/u_r_wrong · 2 pointsr/pics
u/eatmorebeans · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Here is an excellent field tree ID book for the Eastern US by leaves. Here is another tree ID book for the Pacific Coast. Here is a tree ID book for the Eastern US during winter.

u/Chaseraph · 2 pointsr/oregon

This is a bit weird, but there's a fun book about edible plants in the Pacific NW:

u/the_cats_pajamas · 2 pointsr/botany

I think your best bet in that part of the country, and with your level of experience is to start with a basic field guide. Look for a field guide for wildflowers of the Eastern USA. Your local nature center, etc, may have recommendations or a wide selection for sale. A good field guide will cover upland and wetland plants.

If you google "flora of new jersey" it looks like there's a group that is organized trying to create a flora for that state, as well as a native plant society. Both of these would be good groups to get involved with. If you tell the native plant society that you're a high school student interested in botany, I'm almost certain they would waive the membership fees for you.

Once you get more advanced with your identification skills and terminology, Gleason and Cronquist's flora of the Eastern US is a great resource. It goes out of print often, but a used copy is just as good and will save you some money. Unfortunately, it's not a text for beginners and you're better off working with a simpler book with photos or drawings first.

u/ribenademon · 2 pointsr/shrooms

There is a pinned thread on this subreddit on ID. But I would suggest getting a mushroom ID book like and joining a facebook or reddit book on mushroom foraging generally. Get used to IDing and recognising mushrooms of different kinds.

u/BritishBean · 2 pointsr/Drugs


The best book for identifying mushrooms in the field (at least in the U.K.). Written by a rather eminent mycologist. Very thorough but I find it pretty accessible to laymen too.

u/bendtowardsthesun · 2 pointsr/infp

That app sounds so cool! You might also like the app iNaturalist, it's helpful for learning what something is if you're not sure. Pojar is the absolute BEST guide if you want to learn more about PNW coastal plants before you explore! Also, sword fern spores are useful for soothing the pain if you accidentally walk into some stinging nettle. :)

u/Birch_Barlow · 2 pointsr/sfwtrees

Trees in Canada is pretty much the standard reference for any forest professionals in Ontario. Covers all your native and naturalized species. You may need another source for non-native ornamentals and landscape species, if you commonly encounter them.

u/vsaint · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

The wild trees

This book really drew me in and now I have this nagging yen to see the redwoods.

u/34567ertyu · 2 pointsr/forestry

i keep this book in my cruiser vest. Trees are relatively easy to identify once you get into the swing of things.

I think that being familiar with its counterparts (shrubs, herbs, etc) are VERY important to understanding forest dynamics and as it follows, they're a little bit trickier to identify than our trees.

u/Spr4ck · 2 pointsr/sfwtrees

Photo of your computer screen lacks the image quality, link the original image.

This is a good book that will help you get information your looking for.

You can also find a vast amount of information online either via government websites or ngo
Such as:

Or you could always splurge and buy Michael A. Dirrs manual of woody landscape plants.

u/awkwardlittleturtle · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Sending lots of love and light to you today. <3 It's been 8 months since my mom passed away, and there's a million things I loved about her. But one thing I'm most grateful for is her instilling a love and appreciation of nature in me. Especially since I can now find solace and peace in the outdoors when I'm feeling down and missing her. And it's something I'm able to pass down to my own children.

Here's a photo of her scouting out some mushrooms with my oldest daughter a few years ago.

Book: Field Guild to Wildflowers (a used copy is just fine!)

Hey Bean!

u/WestinHemlock · 2 pointsr/Cascadia

This deserves a place on every Cascadian's bookshelf right next to the Cascadian classic Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

u/GrowFindExplore · 2 pointsr/mycology
u/Gracefullyastark · 2 pointsr/mycology

Yup! This species is actually the cover of the Texas foraging guide hahaForaging Texas

u/Concrete_face · 2 pointsr/forestry

Where in BC are you moving to? Plants of Coastal BC (that others have recommended already) is great for many parts of the province, but if you are in the interior/north you may want to get Plants of Southern Interior BC and the Inland Northwest (

u/SuggaMommaSpicyBits · 2 pointsr/botany

If you’re in Michigan and looking more into field biology, I recommend these two books:

More ecology based:

This is the best to ID native plants (older versions have pictures):

u/nnutcase · 1 pointr/ScienceTeachers

Also: bio books
Ernst Haeckel: Art Forms in Nature Coloring Book
Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel
The Anatomy Coloring Book
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders: North America (National Audubon Society Field Guides (Paperback))

Preserved specimen: Real Bat Specimens Science Classroom Specimen for Science Education
Real Snake Skeleton Specimen in Acrylic Block Paperweights Science Classroom Specimens for Science Education

Wellden Medical Anatomical Human Skull Model, 3-part, Numbered, Life Size

u/Young_Zaphod · 1 pointr/botany

I know the absolute ultimate guide to flora in Michigan is the Field Manual of Michigan Flora by Edward Voss. It's seriously the bomb.

u/stimbus · 1 pointr/AskReddit

[This is the best field guide I've found so far.] ( There's one for the east and another for the west in North America. I do occasionally come across things that aren't in the book. I personally know of several species tree in my area that are in this book so the internet is always a great place to look too. This book covers a lot and is a great resource. It doesn't cost a lot either.

u/carol-doda · 1 pointr/askscience

Thanks for your reply and the link. Since I wrote the above, I found and ordered this: Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast. Have not received it yet, but I bet it will be pretty good.

u/squidboots · 1 pointr/mycology

I've posted this elsewhere but here ya go...

> Avoid the Audubon guide. The Audubon guide is pretty terribad (bad photos, pithy descriptions, not user-friendly.)

> There are much better nationwide guides out there (like the Falcon Guide), but quite honestly you're better off with a regional guide.

> My recs for regional field guides:

> Alaska

> - Common Interior Alaska Cryptogams

> Western US

> - All The Rain Promises and More

u/pdoubletter · 1 pointr/Bushcraft

Those look like nice books. I got the Bushcraft book by Kochanski but the others I haven't seen. Thanks.

Here are some from my shelf, mostly geared towards Europe and the UK:

u/albopictus · 1 pointr/Bushcraft

Check out a field guide for your area. I'm an entomologist and we recommend the same thing for bugs.

The one I use. Other people may like different ones

u/mistiara · 1 pointr/Atlanta
u/lechef · 1 pointr/mycology

Mushrooms get it.

  • get yourself a non locking folding pocket knife within UK carry limits, as you harvest trim away dirty bits of the mushrooms before adding to your bag/basket. This will save a lot of time down the road when it comes to cleaning.
u/treehause · 1 pointr/marijuanaenthusiasts

I think the Audubon Society's format is exactly what you specified. An example would be Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region

u/5user5 · 1 pointr/UniversityofReddit

They can be fairly specific depending on how unique your environment is. This would probably be the book you would want. I want it and I'm nowhere near that area.

Edit: Latin would be great, but you could get away with just a Latin roots and combining forms book.

u/SickSalamander · 1 pointr/botany

The Flora of the Pacific Northwest is the book you want. It has full keys. Picture guides specifically related to the northwest (like this and this) can be used to supplement this, but FPN is the best authority for most of that region.

"Wildflowers of North America" and Newcomb's Guide and things like that are not going to help you at all. They mostly cover Eastern species and there is rather little botanical overlap between there and the Pacific Northwest.