Botany Guides

As per my post on the subject, I am now publishing my range of Field Guides for Budding Botanists, aimed at Improvers, although even complete beginners will find them useful and - hopefully! - encouraging.

 They are published on Kindle, but even if you don't have a Kindle you can still download them, as Amazon kindly provide a free app (or "programme" as we grown-ups call them) to allow you to view them on your own device, on your pc at home, or on your laptop.

There are twenty-four of them available already - and lots more yet to come.

Each one comprises an introduction to the group of plants which the book covers, and a Table of Differences which neatly distills the salient points of difference between species, and presents just that information in a clear, easy-to-read grid format.

No more wading through in-depth botanical descriptions!

I describe them in these terms:

One of a series of books intended for use in the field by UK Botanists, both Improvers and complete beginners, to help swiftly narrow down the identification of a plant.

They cover commonly found UK species, and are not intended to replace a proper Field Guide such as Poland or Rose: but they present the salient information in an easy-to-read format, to people who have gone beyond having to key out every single plant, and who are now trying to learn the difference between species.

In fact, they are for people who have gone beyond “It's a Willowherb!” and have reached “..but which one?”

The Kindle is the perfect format for this, as you can look up any words you don't understand in the Kindle dictionary, and then annotate the Table to remind yourself.

Originally they were in the form of a pack of A6 cards on a ring, and here is my original pack (right) , which I still refer to on Botany outings.

I found it was handy to be able to annotate them while I was out an about: but after an "incident" on a rainy day, I decided it was a good idea to computerise them, and it is these computerised versions which I am now presenting.

You may prefer to print them out and make them into cards as I did: but if you can take your Kindle out botanising with you, then so much the better, as you can add notes and check the dictionary if any terms confuse you - although I do strive to include helpful notes on botanical terms which are specific to that group of plants.

As well as Field Guides (green covers) I have published some books about gardening (blue covers) and I have just started another series, Botany Basics (yellow covers) which will expand to cover introductions to Tree ID, both in winter and in summer, and the very basics of Botany, for complete beginners.

To see all of them, just go to Amazon, and either type in my name, or follow this link to go direct to my Author Page, which lists all of the books I have published.


  1. Your little filed guides are brilliant - I'm working my way through the set. A bargain for what they contain and so much easier to read than some of the stodgy "proper" scientific guides.

    1. Thank you Tim, that's very kind of you! I love the idea of being an improper scientific guide *laughs*

  2. High Rachel, I am new to your guides, taken there (here?) by my love of umbellifers and my frustration at filing to identify which type of cow parsely they might be!
    I have the Kindle version of "It's Cow Parsley insn't it?". In there you have produced a Crib sheet which I cannot read on my Kindle even with the text at gigantisimo setting. I have failed in finding a way to "export" it to a printer. I was wondering if you might have a copy in pdf format or anything printable? Would be most apreciated. Many thanks. Julian

    1. Hi Julian,

      OF course! Kindle is terrible with tables: it's not designed for textbooks, or learning resources, at all, which is why every eBook I publish has big notes in it saying "Email me, and I'll send you a pdf!!"

      I have sent a pdf of the crib to your user ID, which I assume is also your email address: but if it doesn't arrive, just email me at and I will send it again.

      In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying learning more about umbellifers!


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