The Vascular Plants of Iowa

An Annotated Checklist and Natural History

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319 pages, 13 photos, 7 maps, 8 1/2 x 1

“Iowa is the only state in our region which does not have a state flora or checklist of its vascular plants. This contribution by Eilers and Roosa is needed badly. It will be very important to the scientific community of Iowa and surrounding states.”—Paul Christiansen

“Eilers and Roosa's checklist represents years of effort identifying all of the vascular plants of the state. This basic information is simply not available in any other comprehensive treatment.”—John Person

“Eilers and Roosa have carefully searched publications relating to Iowa plants and herbaria of the state for documentation of this list of plants that occur here, their distribution and habitat, and the status of their occurrence…The checklist will fill an important need.”—Deborah Qualls Lewis

Anyone who works with the vascular plants of Iowa—researchers, conservationists, teachers, agricultural specialists, horticulturists, gardeners, and so on—and those who are simply interested in knowing more about the state's plants have long felt a need for a comprehensive flora of Iowa. This meticulously researched volume is a giant first step toward such a flora.

This book consists of an extended essay on the natural history of the vascular plants of Iowa, a discussion of their origins, a description of the state's natural regions, and a painstakingly annotated checklist of Iowa vascular plants. The data, which apply to over 150 years, took more than 15 years to collect.

All known vascular plants that grow and persist in Iowa without cultivation are included in the checklist. These are native plants, primarily, but a large number of introduced species have become established throughout the state. Also included are Iowa's major crop plants and some of its common garden plants. The lengthy checklist provides an accurate and up-to-date listing of species names and common names, synonyms, distribution, habitat, abundance, and origin; county names are given for very rare species, and the most complete information has been provided for all rare plants and troublesome species.

The wealth of information is this well-organized, practical volume—which describes more than two thousand species from Adiantum pedatum, the northern maidenhair fern of moist woods and rocky slopes, to Zannichellia palustris, the horned pondweed of shallow marshes and coldwater streams—makes it possible to identify Iowa plants correctly. All midwesterners will want to own a copy of The Vascular Plants of Iowa.

Table of contents: 

Preface and Acknowledgments
Iowa and Its Flora
The Physical Setting
Glacial History
Vegetational History Since the Pleistocene
The Natural Regions of Iowa
Origins of the Iowa Flora

Introduction to the Annotated Checklist
The Checklist Format
Excluded Species
Summary Tables
County Abbreviations

The Annotated Checklist
Angiosperms: Dicotyledons
Angiosperms: Monocotyledons
Index of Taxa and Synonyms
Index of Common Names
Selected References