Flora of the Eastern United States & Appalachian Vistas

Flora of the Eastern United States & Appalachian Vistas
CD Review

Dr. Duncan Porter
Professor of Botany
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

          It is fitting that Virginia, which gave us the first book on the plants of North America, John Clayton's Flora Virginica of 1739, now yields Ken Stein's Flora of the Eastern United States and Appalachian Vistas. In the interim, there have been a number of books produced on the plants that grow in Appalachia and surrounding areas, from densely-written, pictureless scientific tomes to lavishly-illustrated coffeetable volumes with little scientific content. Happily, the CD that you are now gazing upon has the best features of both these extremes. It contains superb photographs of our magnificent flora along with just enough well-written prose to satisfy our curiosity about the plants. Not only that, it has shots of our marvelous mountain vistas, which place the plants in their ecological contexts. What could be grander short of actually standing in the mountains themselves?

          This CD is essentially a multidimensional book, one not tied down to static pages. It is true that it contains pictures and prose like a book, but these can be manipulated in ways that until recently authors could only have imagined. The user can make the images large enough to fill the screen and see more detail, or simply browse them as smaller thumbnails. Search for images to identify unknown plants using a host of characters, from flower color to habitat type. Examine photos of plants already known. Renew old memories of vistas last seen long ago. See new vistas not yet experienced in person. Its functions are almost limitless, its use rewarding. Do it now. Enjoy.

         © Dr. Kenneth J. Stein Photography. All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Dr. Kenneth J. Stein. They are protected by the United States copyright laws, the Berne Convention on copyright, and are not to be reproduced in part or whole form without the written permission of Dr. Kenneth J. Stein.

Home CD Review! Plant List/Species How to Use Purchase
Consulting Virtual Insectary Virtual Herbarium Tour of Egypt Contact

March 9, 2008