The new 6th edition of this well-known book by Thomas Elpel follows the APG system (a phylogenetic classification system now used worldwide) and provides easy to access information through both text and images. If you get this book, make sure to get this edition since it has gone through a lot of good updates.

It is a great beginner’s book to get into plant identification, primarily in North America, the geographic focus of the book and can be used by readers of many ages. Read more about it below the cover image…


From the author’s book cover:

Botany in a Day APG: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification

Looking for a faster, easier, and engaging way to identify plants? Related plants have similar characteristics, and they often have similar uses. Rather than learning new plants one-at-a-time, it is possible to learn them by the hundreds, based on plant family patterns.

Each family of related plants has unique patterns for identification. Learn to recognize these patterns, and discover them again and again in the plants you encounter. It is possible to instantly recognize a plant never before seen, and in many cases, to know its edible or medicinal properties on the spot-even before you have identified it down to the species!

Botany in a Day is changing the way people learn about plants. A one-day tutorial introduces eight of the world’s most common plant families, applicable to more than 45,000 species of plants. Master these eight patterns and have the skills to recognize an astonishing number of plants on any continent. Add to your repertoire by keying out entirely unknown plants and learning additional family patterns.

Additional resources online:

Website for the Botany in a Day book

Botany in a Day, video tutorial (Youtube video)