Reviews of Steve W. Chadde’s Miscellaneous Field Guides to the Plants in the Great Lakes RegionSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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60 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 53
REVIEWS OF STEVE W. CHADDE’S MISCELLANEOUS FIELD GUIDES TOTHE PLANTS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION
Neil A. Harriman Biology Department University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve W. Chadde 2013. Wisconsin Flora: An Illustrated Guide to the Vascu- lar Plants of Wisconsin. vi + 818 pp. ISBN 978-1490550022. Paperback. $40.99.
Mr. Chadde is a Badger, having grown up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he tells us in the Introduction. He also comments on the fact that, despite the long history of botanical work in the state, there’s never been a comprehensive flora published for the state. The nearest thing to that is the series “Preliminary Reports on the Flora of Wisconsin,” which have appeared over many decades in the Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. The Academy has ceased publication of its Transactions, as of 2001. These preliminary reports were done under the aegis of Norman Fassett first, and then Hugh Iltis. They are all listed on pp. 777–778; Mr. Chadde has done us all a service by compiling the data, and giving the URL for finding them all online.
The keys work, the descriptions are excellent, and the illustrations are helpful. I’ve used them for over a year. There are some typographic errors, inevitable in a work this size, but all that I have reported to Mr. Chadde have been corrected. The core of the work, acknowledged on p. 777, is the online Wisconsin State Herbarium, which contains names, photographs, and distribution maps, but no descriptions and no keys. This is based on specimens in the herbarium of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The website sometimes deviates from the classification adopted in Flora of North America; for example, Symphyotrichum is not recognized, and traditional Aster continues to be used, the molecular evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. This is also true for the online Freckmann Herbarium at UW-Stevens Point, which Chadde also cites as a source.
Neither of these online sources follows faithfully the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group with respect to, for example, dismemberment of the Liliaceae. Chadde adopts Liliaceae in the broad sense, and provides a listing of the genera of the segregate families in a table on p. 653; he also puts the variant family name in parentheses after each genus in the running treatment. This is very helpful to the reader. The point of the book is to allow one to put a name to a thing; it is not the place to ponder questions of phylogeny.
Sometimes, the odd introductions are mentioned in passing and are not included in the keys. In the Poaceae alone there are eleven such species—waifs that have not become established as part of the naturalized flora. Similarly
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treated is Thymelaea passerina, an introduced annual; Thymelaeaceae are treated as comprising only Dirca palustris, a native shrub. If the little annual shows up again, one will have to go to Gleason & Cronquist to key it out.
But elsewhere, chance introductions or escapes from cultivation are treated fully, though sometimes without a distribution map—for example, Marrubium vulgare, in the Lamiaceae. By contrast, Satureja hortensis and Thymus pule- gioides get no further mention whatever. In the same family, Collinsonia canadensis is included in the keys (four times) but is neither described nor illustrated; it is said to have been extirpated in Wisconsin, and perhaps so. It’s very difficult to be consistent in handling these kinds of problems; the easiest (and best, I think) solution is to include everything, with appropriate warnings to the reader.
Yet another weedy mint is treated by Chadde as Leonurus marrubiastrum, with the combination in Chaiturus given in synonymy. (It is known from only two counties in Wisconsin, having been first discovered in 1970.) Most modern manuals adopt Chaiturus marrubiastrum; this is not a problem, because Chadde’s index is very thorough and gives every entry of a scientific name, whether adopted or not. The reader needs to be aware, Chadde is not much given to taxonomic or nomenclatural wrangles. But he has created a landmark volume in Wisconsin’s botanical history.
Steve W. Chadde. 2013. Minnesota Flora: An Illustrated Guide to the Vascu- lar Plants of Minnesota. vi + 781 pp. ISBN 978-1491224243. Paperback. $39.99.
A flora of Minnesota, with keys, distribution maps, and illustrations, has not existed until now. There is a rich history of botanical exploration in Minnesota, briefly summarized in the Introduction, page 1. The dichotomous keys seem to be entirely workable; they appear to be the same as those in Wisconsin Flora, which I know to be most useful
The manual includes something over 1900 species. A figure of 2010 species (1618 native, 392 introduced) for the state is given in Ownbey & Morley, 1991, Vascular Plants of Minnesota: A Checklist and Atlas. The most recent survey (available online) is Cholewa, 2011, Comprehensively Annotated Checklist of the Flora of Minnesota, version 2011.2, where no totals are given.
Cholewa made an effort in her checklist to follow the available treatments in Flora of North America and the families as recognized by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. Chadde has done likewise, for the most part. Hence, Aceraceae disappear into Sapindaceae, Chenopodiaceae into Amaranthaceae, and the redistribution of genera out of classical Scrophulariaceae is adhered to. He retains Liliaceae in the Cronquistian sense, but the segregate families to which the genera are assigned in APG III are clearly indicated. The reader will have no difficulty in squaring these treatments with other recent works.
The problem of treating the non-native species remains. I note the author’s remark in the treatment of Acer that the widely cultivated Acer ginnala is occasionally found as an escape throughout the eastern half of Minnesota. The distribution map (all the maps are downloaded from bonap.net) shows it in a dozen or
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more counties; nonetheless, it is neither keyed, pictured, nor described. The same fate befell it in Smith, 2008, Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota. In Ownbey & Morley (see above) it is mentioned but is not granted a distribution map.
Out of idle curiosity, I looked to see how Chadde treated red mulberry, Morus rubra. It is shown as very scattered, in only five counties, but extending from the Canadian border south to the Iowa border. In Smith (see above) it is credited to only Houston County in extreme southeast Minnesota. Ownbey & Morley have it in two counties. Lastly, we have Nepal & Wichern, 2013, Taxonomic status of Red Mulberry (Morus rubra, Moraceae) at its northwestern boundary, Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 92: 19-29, where it is concluded that the species does not occur in Minnesota – the few available specimens are said to be hybrids with Morus alba, including the very early records that were thought to vouch for the occurrence of red mulberry in Minnesota. The hybrid arises naturally, and is also offered in the horticultural trade. None of this is in Chadde – there’s simply not room.
What is in Chadde is all there in one place, accessible to the reader in plain language, because he takes pains to avoid technical jargon as much as possible. One can wish the author and his book every success.
Chadde, Steve W. 2014. Michigan Flora: Upper Peninsula. iv + 824 pp. ISBN 978-1500566197. Paperback. $33.95.
The Upper Peninsula comprises just 15 counties, and 29% of the land area of Michigan. Even so, it harbors nearly 1900 species of vascular plants.
The book covers pteridophytes and lycophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms (dicots and monocots), in that order. Aside from those dividing lines, it is entirely alphabetical. The keys and descriptions are very well done; they are adopted from Voss & Reznicek, Field Manual of Michigan Flora, as is properly acknowledged on page 1. The treatments of pteridophytes and lycophytes rely strongly on the treatments at michiganflora.net; however, the keys and descriptions are much easier to use when one has the printed word at hand – working from a computer screen is relatively more awkward. Because the book is compiled from such exemplary sources, it follows that readers will find it very useful. The addition of line drawings for most of the species is very helpful. There are no distribution maps in Chadde’s book. A county map for the UP and for the entire state is inserted on page 790.
Voss & Reznicek put monocots first, because that was standard when the original Voss work was done; Chadde puts them last. Chadde does mostly recognize the most recent Angiosperm Phylogeny Group families; hence, he leaves Diervilla in the Caprifoliaceae, not in its own family, but with a note to the reader. Voss & Reznicek recognize Dipsacaceae, as does Chadde, even though APG III favors submerging that family into Caprifoliaceae. V&R also accept the segregate families out of Liliaceae, such as Melanthiaceae, Trilliaceae, and Asparagaceae, whereas Chadde sticks with traditional inclusive Liliaceae, but with the other family names given in brackets.
Chadde takes some introduced species out of the keys and reduces their treatment to a note. One I noticed is Juncus inflexus L., introduced from Europe, not
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rare in wet roadside ditches in Houghton County. Omitting it from the key leaves the reader flummoxed. A much better strategy, I think, is to put it in the book along with everything else. (The running header for Juncaceae is misspelled, but easily corrected for future printings.) To the contrary, in the Hydrocharitaceae, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L., introduced from Europe and known only from Chippewa County in the UP, is included in the key, with an illustration, but does not merit a detailed description. That seems to be a much better way of handling introductions that may (or may not) turn out to be mere waifs.
In Judziewicz et al., Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses, the authors made an effort to track down the waifs reported for the state, to see if they are extant. Many of them are not, but if they were here once, they could very well be here again. Hence, they get the full treatment. This strikes me as a sensible way to go. (The situation changes in California. There, the place is overrun with botanists and with short-term plant introductions from both the temperate and the tropical regions of the earth. A goodly number of these are not treated in The Jepson Manual.)
Chadde’s intended audience is “students of the region’s flora.” He is serving that cohort well, and I can only hope that his book will be stocked by merchants in the UP for sale to the hordes of summer tourists; it’s a little tricky to take delivery from amazon.com when you’re on vacation.
Chadde,SteveW. 2013. Midwest Ferns: A Field Guide to the Ferns and Fern Relatives of the North Central United States. vi + 450 pp. ISBN 978- 1484161388. Paperback. $24.95.
North Central US in this book is taken to mean Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The US Bureau of the Census includes in the definition these states plus the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas.
The work is lavishly illustrated, with both photographs and drawings, including an illustration of the fern life cycle, perhaps for those whose grounding in Botany was more based on DNA than morphology. The illustrations of sori, leaf forms, and spores is handy to have in one place.
The author says his book is a field guide, which generally means it’s meant to aid in the identification of living plants, not dried herbarium specimens. To that end, it opens not with conventional keys, but keys under nine different habitat groups: aquatic, calcareous rock, non-calcareous rock, wet forest, etc. More-orless conventional keys begin on p. 31. The habitat keys I found difficult to use; once I decided my fern was on a near-vertical sandstone cliff face (therefore, non-calcareous), the key led me to ten parallel choices with no simple way to distinguish among them. As it happened, the fern I was trying to key out is normally a forest-floor species, and its occurrence on the cliff face was an oddity.
The descriptions of the species are very thorough. Where appropriate, each species description is accompanied by county-level range maps for the upper Midwest as well as maps showing total distribution in North America. The scientific names are fully explained or translated. The rare hybrids, some known from only one or two counties, are included.
Traditional Lycopodium is here treated as six genera. The key to distinguish
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them is quite straightforward. Because the book is a field guide, not a taxonomic treatise, there is no argument offered as to why all these genera should be recognized. The same taxonomic decisions are made in Michigan Flora Online, at michiganflora.net. (The ferny parts are by Robert E. Preston, for whom an obituary appeared in Michigan Botanist 52(1–2): 53–54.) Chadde’s keys owe much to those online, but he improves on them by intercalating explanations of technical terms. I searched the book in vain for any acknowledgment of the online flora. In addition, it might be well to point out an online work for Wisconsin: Pteridophytes of Wisconsin: Ferns and Fern Allies at uwgb.edu. I was unable to find similar sites for Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, or Ohio.
There are references, pp. 429-431, helpfully separated into “Identification Guidebooks,” “Fern Culture,” and “Selected Technical Reports.” This is a circumstance where an annotated bibliography is wanted—the reader needs some guidance. I looked and looked for Ferns and Fern Allies of Wisconsin, edition 2, 1953. (It is quite dated, but still useful.) Chadde has it, but with Fassett as first author. No, the first author is Rolla Milton Tryon, Jr. (1916–2001), whose name somehow came to be listed last (of four).
The regularly updated websites for pteridophytes and lycophytes are very helpful and useful, but they just aren’t the same as a book in hand. Chadde’s bar- gain-priced book deserves a wide readership.