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Page 135 ï~~2010 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 135 BOOK REVIEW Paul E. Rothrock. 2009. Sedges, of Indiana and the adjacent states: the nonCarex species. (ISBN 978-1-88362-14-0. Indiana Academy of Science, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204. Available at http://www.indianaacademyofscience. org/publications/special/; $45.00. Hard cover (laminated w/o dust jacket), 6.25 x 9.25 inches, 1.9 lbs, 271 pages, 200+ color photos, 6 plates of fruit illustrations, keys, glossary, shaded county maps for Indiana and color designation maps for adjacent states, 3 appendices. Here is a book that has to be in every Michigan botanist's library. Not only is Indiana adjacent to Michigan, but most Michigan species that do not occur in Indiana are also treated in the keys and discussed briefly. The Indiana Academy of Science website notes that they have 2620 copies available as of Nov. 4. This will be a best seller, so get yours now before they are all gone! While this is basically a modern treatment of the 88 species of non-Carex sedges in Indiana, it is orchestrated in such a way as to be much more useful than a straightforward floristic treatment with keys, descriptions, and notes on habitats, associates, maps and remarks. So what are the elements that make this book especially useful? First off, the author clearly speaks from experience-no blind compilations from specimens and literature here. This is original work, the product of years of scholarship and becoming intimately familiar with the species by one of the premier sedge experts in the U. S. There are keys to all the species, but beyond the keys, there are helpful hints and ecological and life history discussions that are not only insightful and interesting, but often offer practical help with the most difficult plants. There are even frequently notes about interesting aspect of the species biology, ecology, and even history from elsewhere in the range of the plant as well. Also, every Indiana species (and a few additional species as well) is illustrated with excellent color photographs, some of which are habitat shots as well as plant portraits. Line drawings of achenes are illustrated for most Indiana species-including all for which achenes are diagnostic. A total of 232 figures are included, making this one of the most amply illustrated of modern sedge books. Every Indiana species is mapped by county within the state, and occurrence in adjacent states is also noted, so it is easy to get a clear idea of distribution. Finally, for some of the most difficult species complexes, such as the Eleocharis palustris complex, the Scirpus atrovirens complex, and the Scirpus cyperinus complex, there is a detailed table comparing species for a range of features. Throughout the book, there is also a careful focus on distinguishing difficult and easily confused species pairs or triplets such as Eleocharis engelmannii, E. obtusa, and E. ovata, Schoenoplectus purshianus and S. smithii, and Scleria reticularis and S. muehlenbergii, among others. For the Eleocharis trio, photographs of the achenes of the three side by side are worth pages of careful measurements and descriptions. There are a lot of additional facts available in the book in tabular materials in
Page 136 ï~~136 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 49 Appendices. There is a checklist of all non-Carex Sedges of Indiana that includes their life cycle, whether annual, perennial, or both, and also the wetness ranking and coefficients of conservatism (a measure of the fidelity of the species to native communities, not political affiliation). There is an appendix that lists old synonyms, so that you can easily annotate your older floras and notebooks with the modern names. An interesting appendix is a key to "Indiana's dozen most frequently encountered Sedges (excluding the genus Carex)" which allows identification, with minimal dissection and measurements, of most species a beginner would encounter. There is also a glossary of botanical terms that will help with definitions used in keys and descriptions (though some undefined modern phylogenetic terminology like lade and cladistic, homoplasy, monophyletic, etc. may still raise eyebrows among some). Finally, I want to note that there are interesting tidbits of fact and observation scattered throughout. The writing has not been squeezed dry to make it as dull and uninteresting as possible, as so often seems the case with scientific literature. This makes the book not only useful to professional botanists, but interesting to naturalists and amateurs wanting to know more about one of the most important groups of plants ecologically in our flora. There are even English names listed for every species for people with a phobia of Latin-my favorites are hair sedge for Bulbostylis capillaris, wicket spike rush for Eleocharis rostellata, and whip grass for Scleria triglomerata. Whatever your interests and needs: field identification, work in the Herbarium, restoration and wetland mitigation, and even gardening, this book will be a helpful tool. A.A. Reznicek University of Michigan Herbarium 3600 Varsity Drive Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108