Books for Nature Lovers
Photo Guide to the Wildflowers of South Africa (Revised edition)
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Review By: Landscape SA - Sep/Oct 2012

The English edition of this book has been fully updated to reflect recent taxonomic changes and it is the key to unlocking South Africa’s wildflower heritage. The country has a rich flora of around 19000 different wildflower species. Several of these, especially proteas gerberas, agapanthus and clivias, are now internationally known while freesias, nerinas, sparaxis and chincherinchees have become favourites throughout the world. For those wishing to know more about them, this very richness poses its own problems. Most flower guides cover little more than small stretches of the country and others include too few species to be of much use. Photo Guide to Wildflowers of South Africa aims to overcome these deficiencies. Carefully conceived to cover those wildflowers that are most likely to attract attention, this countrywide guide includes nearly 900 of the most common and conspicuous wildflowers that occur in South Africa and the neighbouing countries of Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. 

An easy to use format divides the country into three main wildflower regions: grassland and savannah, fynbos and Namaqualand, grouping the species in each region. Each species is illustrated and described with information on its common and scientific names, habitat, distribution map, flowering times and local uses. A quick guide helps the reader to narrow down the options at a glance and similar species are placed together to aid comparison. 

Author John Manning is a research botanist at the SA National Biodiversity Institute in Cape Town and is a world authority on the iris and hyacinth families. He has written or co-authored over 100 popular and scientific papers as well as nine wildflower guides. In addition he is widely recognized as an illustrator and flower photographer. 

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South Africa
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