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Wildflower Books

There are a handful of wonderful books to help you get to know the diverse floral world around Lake Tahoe. Once you decide you want to go beyond the “my, that’s just gorgeous” stage of knowledge, you will either need a good friend with plenty of knowledge and patience, or you will start searching through books. Following are the books that will help you learn the wildflowers in the Tahoe area. Each book has its own style and personality so read the descriptions and see which is best for you.

Plants of the Tahoe Basin: Flowering Plants, Trees, and Ferns

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Plants of the Tahoe Basin: Flowering Plants, Trees, and Ferns: by Michael Graf

If you are beyond wanting to recognize just some of the flowers, then you need to get this book. It is the most complete cataloging of the flora of the Tahoe area with close to all 750 species. It is organized by plant family which means you need a certain knowledge or enough patience for page by page searches. A little less than half of the Tahoe wildflowers have pictures. The remainder are included in the write-ups of the related pictured flower. So plan to both look and read to find your flower of interest. The new Jepson Manual also covers all the wildflowers, but for the whole state of California which makes finding your beauty a bit more difficult. Plants of the Tahoe Basin is the best book for the serious Tahoe wildflower hunter.

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Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra and Adjoining Mojave Desert and Great Basin

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Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra and Adjoining Mojave Desert and Great Basin: by Laird R. Blackwell

While not targeted directly at Lake Tahoe, this book probably describes the flowers you will find here. This book is organized by type of terrain first. Next the flowers are listed by color and then number of petals. So locating the plant you are seeing is usually easy. If you still cannot find your plant, there is a “by color” reference with thumbnail pictures in the front. This book is also a great guide to many hikes, not only in Tahoe, but also south along highway 395. This book is a real winner!

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Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, California

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New!!! Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties, California: by the Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Welcome a new comprehensive wildflower book featuring pictures and descriptions of over 500 flowers! The book is organized by family and has a nice brief description of the family characteristics. Many members of the Redbud Chapter contributed to this wonderful book which will be a great resource for those who live on the California side of Lake Tahoe and hike from the low grasslands into the Sierra Nevada foothills and up to the northwest area of Lake Tahoe. Enjoy.

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Hiking Tahoe's Wildflower Trails

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Hiking Tahoe's Wildflower Trails: by Julie Stauffer Carville

IThis book is organized by trail and is an excellent resource for identifying all of the best possibilities for flower hunting around the lake (30 trails!). Each Chapter takes you on a personal adventure describing not only the flowers along the way but noting with great sensitivity all of the natural surrounding that weave together to create the beauty and grandeur that is Lake Tahoe. This is a must have book if you plan to explore the best of the Wildflower trails.

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Falcon Guide - Tahoe Wildflowers

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New!! Tahoe Wildflowers, A Month-by-Month Guide to Wildflowers in the Tahoe Basin and Surrounding Areas: by Laird Blackwell

A new book with a new angle. If you ever wanted to track down a specific wildflower, how can you find it.? Well this book is one answer. You can find out what month you should be hiking and where to look! And, of course, you can just use the book to locate what you have found already. Our wildflower seasons have very distinct beginnings followed by the grand show and finally the closing down period. This book will give you an appreciation of how Mother Nature orchestrates the wildflower season.

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Wildflowers of the Tahoe Sierra: From Forest Deep to Mountain Peak

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Wildflowers of the Tahoe Sierra: From Forest Deep to Mountain Peak: by Laird Blackwell

This book is a great starter. First the book's focus is only on flowers you will find on the trails around Tahoe. Its small size and spiral notebook construction make it comfortable to carry. The major breakout of the flowers is by type of terrain. This can cause some false starts as many of the plants haven’t read where they belong and wander off into unassigned ecosystems. However, it is not difficult to check several environments.

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Jepson Manual

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The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California: by Bruce G. Baldwin (Editor), Douglas H. Goldman (Editor), David J Keil (Editor), Robert Patterson (Editor), Thomas J. Rosatti (Editor), Dieter H. Wilken (Editor)

The single most comprehensive resource on California's amazingly diverse flora.

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