11. Selected Plants of Northern California and Adjacent Nevada—the book

Studies from the Herbarium, California State University, Chico is a non-profit endeavor through which professional and amateur botanists study and document the rich flora of Butte County and northern California. Studies from the Herbarium emphasizes floras and ecological studies involving the plants and plant communities of northern California.

cook cover with pink leaves covering the front

by Vernon H. Oswald

  • 461 pgs, 5½ x 8½ in., comb bind
  • October 2002, ISBN 978-0-9726953-8-1
  • More Information
  • OUT OF PRINT - a new updated version will be available soon

From the Preface:  “This work was never intended by Vern Oswald to be a complete flora for the plants of northern California and Adjacent Nevada, hence the title Selected Plants of Northern California and Adjacent Nevada. However, at the beginning of each year, starting at least as early as 1995, Vern would print out several copies of the book, as it stood at that point in time, and distribute them to a number of northern California botanists. These books generally went to those botanists who had helped him during the previous year, or with whom he had shared field trips or botanical discoveries. The various earlier versions of the book are in high demand around northern California. Those of us lucky enough to have a copy never go to the field without our “Vern” as we fondly call Selected Plants.”  With the publication of this newest book by Studies from the Herbarium, everyone can now have their own copy of Selected Plants. This version of the book is a reproduction of the “2002 Version,” as distributed by Vern Oswald shortly before his death on 11 February, 2002.

Selected Plants is the result of Vern’s 18 or so years of botanizing around northern California. For each species represented in the text of this field guide, there is a full authority citation, common name, general habitat characteristics, elevation range, plant community, Jepson Manual geographic regions, blooming period, citation of one to several of his personal (and occasionally other collector’s) collections, as represented in the CSU, Chico Herbarium, the selection of citations designed to illustrate the northern California distribution of the taxon as he had personally observed it, and finally a short synonymy. The citation of herbarium collections is no small matter, since it summarizes his more than 10,000 collections from northern California and adjacent Nevada. Vern also cites his personal observations for those species that he saw but didn’t collect. Many northern California species that Vern never saw or collected are included in the keys, especially rare species that he wanted to be sure not to miss. Complete detailed keys to all of the taxa represented in the book are provided, in the usual manner of keys to families, then keys to the genera within each family, and finally keys to all of the species, subspecies, and varieties within each genus. The book also includes two invaluable glossaries: one of generic names and the other of epithets, where the meaning of all of the generic names and epithets is given; diacritical marks are also shown to aid in the correct pronunciation of the words.