This book is under construction. It will be a child's field guide to the flowers in bloom in Northern New England in the summer. As such it will avoid technical terminology and feature many photos of the
inflorescenses, foliage, and habit (ack! technical terms!) flowers, leaves, and plant form of several species.
How to Use This BookEdit
This book works best if you can take it with you out in nature as an aid in identifying wild flowers that bloom during the summer in Northern New England (Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont). It does not cover the flowers that people try to grow in their gardens. Those are usually a lot harder to identify.
Look around in nature for flowers first, and then see if you can figure out what they are. This book is organized first by the flower's main color, with five sections:
- White Flowers
- Yellow and Orange Flowers
- Red and Pink Flowers
- Blue and Purple Flowers
- Green and Brown Flowers
Some colors are grouped together because sometimes it's hard to tell which of two colors a flower is. Is it red, or is it pink? Blue or purple? Sometimes it's hard to tell.
Some flowers have more than one color (like white petals with a yellow center). Flowers have been placed in the color chapters based on their main color, so whichever color it is the most, that will tell you which chapter to look in first. If a flower is a very light, light, blue, and you have to look really closely at it to see that it has a touch of blue - it will be located in the white chapter, because it is mostly white. You shouldn't have to think too hard to figure out which chapter it's in, but if you can't find it under one color, try another.
Once you've decided which color the flower is and have found that chapter, look at the chapter's index page. The flowers on these pages are sorted by where you are most likely to have found them. Each chapter has three sections:
- In Yards or Fields
- In Forests
- In or Near Water
If you found the plant in a sunny place such as a yard or a field, look first in the "In Yards or Fields" section. If it was growing in a shady place like in the woods, check the "In Forests" section. If it was growing in a pond or on a river bank, check the "In or Near Water" section. Simple, right? I hope so!
Now you should have it narrowed down pretty good. Scan the pictures in the section looking for a photo that looks like the flower you have found in nature. Don't stop looking as soon as you see something close - look for the best match. Some flowers tend to look a lot alike, and we have grouped these together so hopefully you can see them all at once. If you can't tell which it is by looking at the index page, find the flower's page within the section. Then read the description of the plant on that page. If there are look-alikes, the description will point out some differences for you to look for.
If you still can't figure out what it is, well... maybe it's not in this book. Maybe you found it in the Spring or in the Autumn, and this book only deals with Summer flowers. Or maybe you found it outside Northern New England. Or maybe we just missed it when we put this book together. If you want to, you could add it to this book yourself. Take a picture and upload it to http://en.wikibooks.org, and then leave a note on this book's talk page. Someone here will be glad to help you. If that doesn't work, and you still want to know what the flower is, try sending a photo of the flower to Mr. Smarty Plants at http://www.wildflower.org/expert/ which is a gang of very friendly plant scientists. If they can't help you... maybe no one can?
Have fun looking for flowers. See how many you can identify! If you're learning the name of the flower, why not learn the scientific name too? Then you can surprise everyone when you start sounding like a scientist yourself.