Kentucky's rich soil and wonderfully diverse landscapes have for centuries made the state a welcoming habitat for a dazzling variety of wildflowers. From the delicate Kentucky glade cress to the fiery royal catchfly, flowers, grasses, and sedges nestle on rocky hillsides, bask in open woodlands and prairies, and even manage to thrive in busy rights of way and roadsides. As demand for natural resources and land for development and housing in the Commonwealth grows, land use and habitats are quickly changing. Unfortunately, this translates into disappearing or degraded habitats for a host of remarkable wildflowers. Currently 255 plant species in Kentucky are considered endangered or threatened, and there are more than 50 potential additions to the list. Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky provides an introduction to Kentucky's signature rare plants with 220 gorgeous full-color photographs by Thomas G. Barnes, a naturalist and award-winning photographer. These rare wildflowers and their descriptions are organized by habitat, and the book draws attention to the enduring beauty of Kentucky's old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, and other habitats. In addition to serving as a stunning photographic record of Kentucky's rare plants, the book examines ecological communities and the ways in which they are threatened. The authors also explain how various plants have become endangered over the decades and suggest concrete steps for conservation and preservation at both the government and private level. The book also includes references, a list of scientific and common species names, and a list of each plant's endangered status that is especially useful to gardeners, botanists, and horticultural professionals. Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky is both a celebration and a call to action to save the plants that are a vital part of Kentucky's natural heritage.
About the Author
Thomas G. Barnes is extension professor of forestry and wildlife specialist at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of Gardening for the Birds, Kentucky's Last Great Places, and Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky.Deborah White is branch manager and senior botanist at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission.Marc Evans is senior ecologist at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission.