Identification – Books For Shrubs and Vines

Q: I’m looking for definitive books for identifying shrubs and vines, We have many identification books but none of them seem to have everything: color pictures, index by color, leaf shape, etc. I already have the shrub book by George Symonds and the Petersen Field Guide.

A: Native plant expert Shannon Pable (www.shannonpable.com) recommends “Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide” by Lawrence Newcomb, “Wildflowers of the Eastern United States” by Wilber and Marion Duncan plus “Appalachian Wildflowers” by Thomas Hemmerley. Shannon says if you want to get down to the nitty gritty of classification, try “Botany in a Day” by Thomas Elpel. It teaches about plant families, which will significantly help you zero in on identifying plants.