Oak apples, honeydew and ambrosia galls, witches' brooms, and fasciations - all are types of plant galls, a commonly observed, yet little-understood botanical phenomenon. Often beautiful and bizarre, galls are growths of various shapes, sizes, and colors produced by host plants in response to invading organisms. This guide, a trove of natural history lore, explores this hidden realm, taking a fascinating look at the world of plant galls, the organisms that initiate them, their host plants, and their intricate behaviors. Focusing on native trees and shrubs, but also discussing several galls that occur on herbaceous and ornamental plants, it illuminates the complex interrelationship between botany and entomology and magnifies our awareness of plant communities in the West.
The book identifies more than 300 species of galls - 95 on oaks, 22 on members of the rose family, 60 desert species, and 35 species that are new to science.
Ron Russo recently retired as Chief Naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, California. Among his books are Hawaiian Reefs: A Natural History Guide, Pacific Coast Mammals, Pacific Coast Fish, and Pacific Intertidal Life.
This exciting book belongs on every naturalist's bookshelf. The excellent color photos and clear text will endear it to the amateur while the accurate identifications will please the professional. This book is an ideal gift for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors. - Katherine Schick, Essig Museum of Entomology, University of California, Berkeley"