Are you overwhelmed by Agrostis? Confused by Carex? Jittery about your Juncus?
This book aims to simplify the identification of this fascinating group of plants, using characters that are both easy to spot in the field and simple to remember. Over 100 species are described, focussing on key features of both their genus and species.
All proceeds from this book go to saving rare species in the UK.
Read an interview with author Dominic Price on the NHBS blog.
The Grasses constitute one of the largest families of Flowering Plants,...
A small (smaller than I was expecting and much friendlier to being taken out for the day), ring bound book with a very clear layout, and a useful guide to grasses found in different locations e.g. uplands, woodlands, acidic grasslands etc. Very clear images and diagrams, would definitely recommend to a beginner in grass ID and for a go-to field guide.
When learning a new chunk of species it is always useful to get a range of different perspectives to complement each other; detailed keys and erudite descriptions are one thing but jizz and a few helpful pointers go a long way to making the whole subject clearer so this little book is helpful in that regard but it is terribly overpriced for what you get. It has even increased in price since I got my copy and there isn't even an index. It covers or at least mentions 120 species that may not include those that are common where you live or study as I suspect the author's selection is Hampshire-centric.
Consider as an alternative, Plants and Habitats by Ben Averis (currently £24.99). This covers a selection of grasses, sedges and rushes with a Scotland bias as well a load of other plants (including ferns and some mosses and liverworts). The grasses etc. extend to 68 pages, with no space wasted (not the case in Price's book) and covers many more species in a style that is similarly friendly and well illustrated (with photos). The title is rather misleading and possibly off-putting, as the habitats element is not a major part of the book.
I recommend this as being far better value, though if £11.99 (current price) is of little consequence in your quest for id perfection, Dominic Price's book will undoubtedly help.
Having read the review above I was unsure, but this book has been recommended by so many people I decided to go for it. I could not be more happy with it. The book does have an index, or maybe one has now been added since that reviewer got his? [This is indeed the case, -Ed] I’m based in Yorkshire and it absolutely covers all the species I tend to see, and I was glad to see Blue Moorgrass in there, which is a proper northern species (and I don’t think found in Hampshire as the review suggests). Cost-wise, I know we looked into getting a colour pamphlet printed for a small community project I work on and it is really dear these days, so I think £12 is extremely reasonable for a book which must have taken years to compile and has a lot of very colourful high res images. On top of which all proceeds go to the Species Recovery Trust, which from all reports is doing amazing work saving species on a shoestring budget, so I’m more than happy to pay for that. At the end of the day, it is just a brilliant book, which has opened up grasses to so many people like me who were finding them a bit hard to crack, so I would heartily recommend this book to anyone, beginner or expert! The pages on Fescues particularly are an inspiration, I had given up on doing them before this book!