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Page 152 ï~~152 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 47 BOOK REVIEW Curtis, Linda. 2006. Woodland Carex of the Upper Midwest. Curtis to the Third Productions, P.O. Box 731, Lake Villa, I1 60046 $19.95, Hard Cover, 3-Ring Binder. All of us who have done field work have encountered sedges (Carex), those moderately easy to distinguish three-sided stemmed clumps of "grass-like" plants with seeds in a sac. It is so easy to recognize most species to the genus but it is so different trying to identify them to the correct species. The author has taken on a difficult task to make identification relatively easy. To begin with, the book is a loose-leaf one in a three-ring, hard binder with a color photograph of C. lupulina on the front cover and four other species on the back. The pages are one-half the standard 8 1/2" x 11" letter size sheets with holes on the long side making it easy to take into the field. The book deals with 63 of the over 100 species that grow in dry to wet habitats in the herb layer of Upper Midwest woodlands. Excluded from this field guide are the species of sunny wetlands such as bogs, fens, marshes, open wet prairies or the open sandy dunes along Lake Michigan. Therefore, the user may encounter species not covered by the guide and will have to consult other sources for complete identification. The book begins with an 18 page discussion of the descriptive terminology applied to sedges. Combining clear, quality, close-up black and white photographs the author deals with seed head patterns, how to tell the male and female flowers apart, the sacs or perigynia, beaks, scales, growth forms of the stems or culms, sheaths, ligules and vein patterns. The bulk of the book, pages 19-156 is divided into eight sections, with each section concentrating on features of the sac or perigynium. Each section then has a dichotomous key to the species of the section. Each species is illustrated by close-up black and white photographs or sketches of the features needed to properly identify the taxon. Characters distinguishing the species from similar ones are discussed at times in some detail. The wording of the key couplets is simple and clear and I was able to identify three unknown species with ease. However, a fourth species, from a local sandy woods was not in the book making it limited for my part of the Upper Midwest. The final section of the book includes special keys to species with hairy leaves, narrow leaves, and spikes that are very large and over 3 cm long (called super sedges) and those with small spikes and less than 2 cm long. Page 166 is a list of eight Websites where Carex species can be viewed. The Index gives the pages numbers where the 70+ species are mentioned. The plastic covered pages provide some water resistance when using the book for field identification and its size fits well in a day pack but is too large for a fanny pack. The author, a retired college teacher, has gained a wealth of field experience with Carex and in instructing the public in outdoor botany. This knowledge comes through in the information and layout of the self-published book. If the user remembers the geographic and ecological limits of the work, I believe it has a place on any naturalist's book shelf, and it will be helpful in sedge identification. Dennis W. Woodland, Biology Department Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0410 firstname.lastname@example.org