The second edition of "Flowering Plants: Flowering Rush to Rushes" offers new material, including a preface, seventeen new illustrations of the additional species now known from Illinois, a revised list of illustrations, and an appendix of the additions and changes since 1970 in the identification, classification, and location of the plants included in the first edition. This new edition of the first volume in the multi-volume series of "The Illustrated Flora of Illinois" - which provides a working reference for the identification and classification of these plant forms in the state - includes flowering rushes, arrowheads, pondweeds, naiads, duckweeds, cat-tails, bur-reeds, spiderworts, and rushes. In his introduction, Robert H. Mohlenbrock defines terms and procedures used in the identification and classification of this group of flowering plants referred to as monoctyledons - plants that produce upon germination a single cotyledon or seed-leaf and are often identified by their tall, slender, grass-like leaves. He outlines the life histories and morphologies of the representative monocots and illustrates the plants' habits and frequencies in Illinois.
Geared to the amateur as well as the professional botanist, the volume includes a glossary of definitions and identification keys to classify the plants according to order, family, genus, and species. The identifying characteristics of each descending class are also given in detail. The morphology of each species is outlined along with data on frequency of occurrence, related soil and climate conditions, and history of past collections. Among the 125 illustrations are detailed sketches of the important features of each species and maps indicating the geographical locations of each species in Illinois.
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Robert H. Mohlenbrock taught botany at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for thirty-four years, earning the title of Distinguished Professor. After his retirement in 1990, he joined Biotic Consultants as a senior scientist, teaching wetland identification classes in twenty-nine states. He has been named SIU Outstanding Scholar and has received the SIU Alumnus Teacher of the Year Award, the AMOCO Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Meritorious Teacher of the Year Award from the Association of Southeastern Biologists. Since 1984, he has been a monthly columnist for Natural History magazine. Among his 51 books and more than 580 publications are Macmillan's Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Field Guide to the U.S. National Forests, and Where Have All the Wildflowers Gone?