279 pages, Col illus
Scotland contains an interesting and varied flora with many areas of the country such as the Highlands, the mountains and moors of Central Scotland, the Islands of the West and the long and varied coastline remaining relatively wild and unspoilt. Numerous nature reserves serve to protect not just the many rare plants but also those which, although once common, are now becoming scarcer. In an effort to capture the rich diversity of Scottish wild flowers, Mary McMurtric employs her considerable artistic skills to educate and inform but above all delight her readers with the aid of more than 350 individual watercoloured drawings. The book is not intended as a complete flora of Scottish wild flowers but is, nevertheless, exceedingly representative. It is set out for quick and easy identification, the recognition being made easier because of the use of the author's original paintings completed from live studies, rather than photographs. This use of individual painting allows the artist to emphasize important recognition features while minimising non-essential detail. To help the reader identify plants quickly and easily, they have been arranged, as far as possible, in groups according to colour - white, red/pink, yellow and blue/purple. There are always variations, however, and many flowers change colour as they age. The descriptions are placed opposite the illustrations and include the common name, the botanical name, the plant family, and the habit and time of flowering. Whenever possible, the plants of the same family are kept together within the particular colour section. Although all the original illustrations were drawn life-size, some examples shown within the book have had to be slightly reduced for the purposes of reproduction. Professor Ian Alexander, Lecturer in Botany at the University of Aberdeen writes that this book 'is intended to delight and inform the reader and to promote an interest in our native flora by presenting it in an attractive (aesthetically pleasing) way'.
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