Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia

Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia

by Timothy P. Spira

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This richly illustrated field guide serves as an introduction to the wildflowers and plant communities of the southern Appalachians and the rolling hills of the adjoining piedmont. Rather than organizing plants, including trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, by flower color or family characteristics, as is done in most guidebooks, botanist Tim Spira takes a holistic, ecological approach that enables the reader to identify and learn about plants in their natural communities. This approach, says Spira, better reflects the natural world, as plants, like other organisms, don't live in isolation; they coexist and interact in myriad ways.

Full-color photo keys allow the reader to rapidly preview plants found within each of the 21 major plant communities described, and the illustrated species description for each of the 340 featured plants includes fascinating information about the ecology and natural history of each plant in its larger environment. With this new format, readers can see how the mountain and piedmont landscapes form a mosaic of plant communities that harbor particular groups of plants. The volume also includes a glossary, illustrations of plant structures, and descriptions of sites to visit. Whether you're a beginning naturalist or an expert botanist, this guidebook is a useful companion on field excursions and wildflower walks, as well as a valuable reference.

Southern Gateways Guide is a registered trademark of the University of North Carolina Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807877654
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 05/16/2011
Series: Southern Gateways Guides
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 540
File size: 32 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Timothy P. Spira is professor of biology at Clemson University.

Table of Contents

Region Covered ix

Acknowledgments xi

Part I Introduction 1

1 How to Use This Field Guide 5

2 The Mountains 8

3 The Piedmont 15

4 Understanding Natural Communities 19

Part II Photo Key 29

1 The Mountains 31

Spruce-Fir Forest 31

Grassy Bald 34

Heath Bald 36

High-Elevation Rock Outcrop 39

High-Elevation Red Oak Forest 42

Northern Hardwood Forest 46

Rich Cove Forest 50

Acidic Cove Forest 54

Spray Cliff 57

Rocky Streamside 59

Mountain Bog 62

Chestnut Oak Forest 66

Pine-Oak-Heath 69

Forest Edge 72

2 The Piedmont 77

River Bluff Forest 77

Alluvial Forest 80

Basic Mesic Forest 84

Oak-Hickory Forest 88

Xeric Hardpan Forest 92

Granite Outcrop 95

Roadside and Field 99

Part III Plant Community Profiles 103

1 The Mountains 105

High-Elevation Communities 105

Spruce-Fir Forest 105

Grassy Bald 110

Heath Bald 115

High-Elevation Rock Outcrop 119

High-Elevation Red Oak Forest 124

Northern Hardwood Forest 129

Low-Elevation Moist to Wet Communities 135

Rich Cove Forest 135

Acidic Cove Forest 141

Spray Cliff 147

Rocky Streamside 151

Mountain Bog 156

Low-Elevation Dry Communities 163

Chestnut Oak Forest 163

Pine-Oak-Heath 168

Forest Edge 173

2 The Piedmont 179

Moist to Wet Communities 179

River Bluff Forest 179

Alluvial Forest 184

Basic Mesic Forest 190

Dry Communities 195

Oak-Hickory Forest 195

Xeric Hardpan Forest 200

Granite Outcrop 205

Roadside and Field 211

Part IV Species Profiles 217

1 Trees 219

2 Shrubs and Woody Vines 269

3 Herbaceous Plants 325

Glossary of Botanical Terms 471

Selected Natural Areas 476

Suggested Reading 495

Websites 498

Index of Scientific Plant Names 499

Index of Common Plant Names 509

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Tim Spira's book breaks new and fertile ground in the field of natural history. Using what is quickly becoming the state-of-the-art approach to understanding native plants—by considering them fully within their natural communities—Spira has successfully created a wonderful field guide to the southern Appalachian region.—Robert Wyatt, Professor Emeritus of Botany and Ecology, University of Georgia

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