Ozarks Book Report

Missouri Arkansas Book Report
June 29-July 15, 2007
Rainbow Gathering Arkansas Ozarks (near Fallsville) June 29-July 7
Field trip-Wolf Pen recreation area (near Beach Grove, AR) July 8-12
Post field trip-Cape Fair, MO July 14-15

As usual, I brought too many books along. And as Peaches transmission went kaput before the Rainbow Gathering, I did not have all the books with me from the beginning, though I did have those that felt most useful. The first category of books below are the ones that I brought along and did not use at all. Basically they sat in my tent. The next set were used a lot during the course of this trip.
I felt fortunate in that I didn’t know where the Gathering would be until a little less than 2 weeks prior. So I began purchasing books (mostly thru Amazon) then, and I paid a bit more money for shipping and received them all in time. And they proved to be most worthful and feel fortunate to have had them at hand.
At the Gathering proper, I didn’t do much keying out, as I was distracted by the Peaches crisis, a small student revolt, a lot of rain and mud, and a few days with a lousy-ass virus.
But post-Gathering, I had a chance to use many of them. My biggest difficulty was that I brought the new versions of Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri, which covers monocots and dicot families from A to Fabaceae (though pissing-off-ly without the Papillinodae). So I could look up Asteraceae but no beloved scrophs, or Lamiaceae. Oh well, still handy, though quite large, each volume is.
I was mainly in two areas in the Ozarks. In Arkansas, I was over in the Northwest corner, around St. Paul and Oark.
In Missouri, we were mainly in the Mark Twain National Forest on both sides of Branson.
One characteristic of the color photograph books I brought along was whether the plants were listed by floral color or family. In the end, having both is helpful, for those plants whom the family is a mystery.

Did not use these
1.Aquatic and Wetland Plants of the Southeastern United States-Godfrey and Wooten-Did not use
2.Falcon Guide-Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers-Ladd/Oberle-Did not use
3.Ferns-Peterson Field Guide-Cobb/Farnsworth/Lowe-Did not use
4.Missouri Wildflowers of the St. Louis Area-Eisendrath-Did not use
5.Spring Flora of Missouri-Steyermark-Did not use
6.Weeds of the North Central States-Agricultural Experiment Station-Did not use

These were consulted
1.An Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist’s Manual-Holmgren-see notes to Gleason and Cronquist.

2.Arkansas Atlas and Gazetteer-DeLorme. I purchased these right before the trip, and while I utilized only a fractional part of the maps, they were incredibly handy and an excellent idea. Try to always bring one.

3.Falcon guide-Ozark Wildflowers-Kurz. This is another useful volume in this series. This along with Hunter (below) covered most of the common wildflowers I saw, or at least close enough to then jump to another flora to get closer to genera and species. Good color photos, info and choice of plants to include. Plants listed by floral color (see comments in introduction), but one thing they did not do in the index is list all the plants included under the family name. This is a annoying shortcoming

4.Manual of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada-Gleason and Cronquist. I used this book often, though I would have preferred to have used a more regional field guide. The reason, as complained about elsewhere in this report, is that Steyermark stopped part way thru Fabaceae, and so I had little choice for a more concise flora. That said, G&C was very helpful (along with the illustrated companion), as many plants were covered such as Polygala senega and Eupatorium purpureum. So I guess I’m saying that it was very useful but I wish I has something a bit more local to avoid possible missing out on species. But thank you once again Henry and Arthur.

5.Missouri Atlas and Gazetteer-DeLorme. I purchased these right before the trip, and while I utilized only a fractional part of the maps, they were incredibly handy and an excellent idea.

6.Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide-Newcomb. I did not use Newcomb’s much and we were a bit out of its range, but some of the students did and many of the plants we saw were covered. While it does not have many of the plants specific to the Ozarks, it is still worthwhile while realizing that many will not be listed.

7.Ozark Wildflowers-Hemmerly- Out of the three color photograph books I used (Hunter and Kurz), this was the one I used the least as the photos were not quite up to snuff, though that said, it did cover many of the plants seen and has a good ecology of the Ozarks in the beginning. Also, it lists many other species of each genera listed as an individual plant, making it easier to figure out if it was the right genera but perhaps a different species. Also, the plants are listed by family groupings.  I would continue to bring it.

8.Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri-revised edition-Yatskievych –volume 1. These were exceptionally useful books, as they covered the Mo. Ozarks quite in-depthly, which I assume includes the plants of the Arkansas Ozarks. The keys worked nicely and there was a lot of information about each plant. In fact I would state this as a problem, as each book is big and heavy (hold on, I’m going to weigh volume now…, they weigh about 5 pounds each) (and with one volume to go!), so whether this is a strength or not, it causes strength by having to lug around these monsters. Okay, enough weight and size rant (though they could make a truer field guide version of these books). I was incredibly glad to have them, as if the plants were covered I could often suss them out, sometimes with the help of G&C. So I would always bring them with me here and thank you Mr. Yatskievych for updating them.
   Also, they have state site maps of all of the listed plants, and black and white illustrations of select number of the plants too, which are well done, and so if it was one of the plants I was looking at, I felt quite fortunate as the illustrations really helped confirm the identity and often showed very useful details.

9.Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri-revised edition-Yatskievych –volume 2. See volume one for details. Only comment here is how annoying it is that they included the Fabaceae without the Papilionoideae tribe. Darn you Red Baron.

10.Wildflowers of Arkansas-Hunter-Glad to have this nicely photographed book along, as the majority of time was spent in Arkansas. The information is well done, the photos generally covered the plants I saw and the plants are listed by family. Under some of the plants, alternate genera and species are listed, which is quite helpful, and the more the better with this kind of information in sussing an identity.