IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A multi-purpose manual to help you appreciate the state’s wildflower bounty—coming soon to a roadside near you—consider picking up a copy of Lone Star Wild flowers: A Guide to Texas Flowering Plants. West Texas natives LaShara J. Nieland and Willa F. Finley have researched and photographed their way from the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, from Big Bend to the Big Thicket, to produce a field guide that’s filled with scientific information, as well as flower uses, history, and lore. Their photographs of nearly 500 wildflowers are grouped by color for easy identification.
Even if you’re not planning any firsthand explorations, Lone Star Wildflowers is an entertaining read. Did you know that tumbleweeds (Russian thistles) are edible when the plants are young and tender? Did you know that Native Americans used chocolate daisies to season food, especially meat dishes? Or that Echinacea angustifolia (purple coneflower) is being produced commercially as an immune system stimulant?
Whether you’re going to curl up in an armchair with this beautiful book or stash it in a backpack on your next hike, you’ll find it a wonderfuI companion. For details, call 806/742-2982 or 800/832-4042; www.ttup.ttu.edu.