If you have ever been to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and northern New Mexico, you may have noticed the various wildflowers growing there and wondered about what they were. Carolyn Dodson and William Dunmire’s nature guide will help you when you return to the southern Rockies to explore those small but magnificent wonders of nature.
Dodson and Dunmire provide information for the specific areas or regions of the Laramie Mountains of southern Wyoming, the Rockies of Colorado, and the Sangre de Cristo, Jamez and Sandia Mountains of New Mexico. They provide a color map of the region in the front of the book as well as a color chart of the elevation and vegetation. Over 1,000 species of wildflowers grow in this region.
The authors divide their guide into the families of the wildflowers. Many have only one representative, while others might have two or more. The common name of the wildflower is given and, below that, the scientific name. To the right of the species’ common name is the family’s common name, and under that the family’s scientific name. Most of the time two color photos are given of the flower, one up close and the other taken from a distance. The additional drawings of many of the flowers are by Walter Graf. Various kinds of information are given about the each species of wildflower - its medicinal properties, who gave it its name and why, for instance, and details of the flower’s pollination and how its seeds get to various places. The stunning photos alone make this book worth the price of admission.
A two-page glossary supplies very short definitions. A single-page list of suggested references and three pages of a selected bibliography (which includes two Internet sites) are included, as is an index.
Carolyn Dodson holds a master’s degree in botany from the City University of New York and is retired from the University of New Mexico General Library. William W. Dunmire worked 28 years in the National Park Service. He has a degree in biology from the University of California, Berkeley and is an associate in biology at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods changed America (2004), Birds of the National Parks in Hawaii (1961), and co-author of Wild Plants of the Pueblo Province (1995).
Mountain Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies is recommended to those looking to enhance their enjoyment of the natural world of the southern Rockies with a book on their wildflowers.