Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide
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Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide

by Peter Del Tredici
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801474582

ISBN-13: 9780801474583

Pub. Date: 02/28/2010

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Characterized by an abundance of pavement, reflected heat, polluted air and contaminated soil, our cities and towns may seem harsh and unwelcoming to vegetation. However, there are a number of plants that manage to grow spontaneously in sidewalk cracks and roadside meridians, flourish along chain-link fences and railroad tracks, line the banks of streams and rivers

Overview

Characterized by an abundance of pavement, reflected heat, polluted air and contaminated soil, our cities and towns may seem harsh and unwelcoming to vegetation. However, there are a number of plants that manage to grow spontaneously in sidewalk cracks and roadside meridians, flourish along chain-link fences and railroad tracks, line the banks of streams and rivers, and emerge in the midst of landscape plantings and trampled lawns. On their own and free of charge, these plants provide ecological services including temperature reduction, oxygen production, carbon storage, food and habitat for wildlife, pollution mitigation, and erosion control on slopes. Around the world, wild plants help to make urban environments more habitable for people.

Peter Del Tredici's lushly illustrated field guide to wild urban plants of the northeastern United States is the first of its kind. While it covers the area bounded by Montreal, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, it is broadly applicable to temperate urban environments across North America. The book covers 222 species that flourish without human assistance or approval. Rather than vilifying such plants as weeds, Del Tredici stresses that it is important to notice, recognize, and appreciate their contribution to the quality of urban life. Indeed their very toughness in the face of heat islands, elevated levels of carbon dioxide and ubiquitous contamination is indicative of the important role they have to play in helping humans adapt to the challenges presented by urbanization, globalization and climate change.

The species accounts—158 main entries plus 64 secondary species-feature descriptive information including scientific name and taxonomic authority, common names, botanical family, life form, place of origin, and identification features. Del Tredici focuses especially on their habitat preferences, environmental functions, and cultural significance. Each entry is accompanied by original full-color photographs by the author which show the plants' characteristics and growth forms in their typical habitats. Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast will help readers learn to see these plants-the natural vegetation of the urban environment-with fresh appreciation and understanding.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801474583
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2010
Pages:
389
Sales rank:
417,090
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Steward T. A. Pickett
Introduction

FERNS
Dryopteridaceae (Woodfern Family)
Dennstaedtiaceae (Brackenfern Family), 26

HORSETAILS
Equisetaceae (Horsetail Family)

CONIFERS
Taxaceae (Yew Family)

WOODY DICOTS
Aceraceae (Maple Family)
Anacardiaceae (Cashew Family)
Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)
Betulaceae (Birch Family)
Bignoniaceae (Trumpet Creeper Family)
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)
Celastraceae (Stafftree Family)
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)
Fabaceae = Leguminosae (Pea Family)
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
Moraceae (Mulberry Family)
Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Rutaceae (Rue Family)
Salicaceae (Willow Family)
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
Simaroubaceae (Quassia Family)
Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)
Ulmaceae (Elm Family)
Vitaceae (Grape Family)

HERBACEOUS DICOTS
Aizoaceae (Carpetweed Family)
Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family)
Apiaceae = Umbelliferue (Carrot Family)
Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)
Asteraceae = Compositae (Aster Family)
Balsaminaceae (Touch-me-not Family)
Brassicaceae = Cruciferae (Mustard Family)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)
Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)
Clnsiaceae (Mangosteen Family)
Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family)
Cucurbitaceae (Gourd Family)
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)
Fabaceae = Leguminosae (Pea Family)
Lamiaceae = Labiatae (Mint Family)
Lythraceae (Loosestrife Family)
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)
Oxalidaceae (Woodsorrel Family)
Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)
Phytolaccaceae (Pokeweed Family)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)
Polygonaceae (Smartweed Family)
Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Rubiaceae (Madder Family)
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
Solanaceae (Nightshade Family)
Cannabaceae (Hemp Family)
Urticaceae (Nettle Family)
Violaceae (Violet Family)

MONOCOTS
Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)
Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
Juncaceae (Rush Family)
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
Poaceae = Gramineae (Grass Family)
Typhaceae (Cattail Family)

APPENDICES
I. Plants Covered in This Book That Are Included in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica
2. European Plants Listed by Josselyn as Growing Spontaneously in New England in the Seventeenth Century
3. Shade-Tolerance Ratings of the 32 Trees Covered in This Book
4. Species Suitable for a Cosmopolitan Urban Meadow
5. Key Characteristics of Important Plant Families

Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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