Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky


  • 190 Page Hardback
  • University Press of Kentucky
Categories: , SKU: 12041


Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky takes you through Kentucky’s rich soil and wonderfully diverse landscapes for a dazzling variety of wildflowers. From the delicate Kentucky glade cress to the fiery royal catchfly, flowers, grasses, and sedges nestle on rocky hillsides, bask in open woodlands and prairies, and even manage to thrive in busy rights of way and roadsides. As demand for natural resources and land for development and housing in the Commonwealth grows, land use and habitats are quickly changing. Unfortunately, this translates into disappearing or degraded habitats for a host of remarkable wildflowers. Currently 255 plant species in Kentucky are considered endangered or threatened, and there are more than 50 potential additions to the list. Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky provides an introduction to Kentucky’s signature rare plants with 220 gorgeous full-color photographs by Thomas G. Barnes, a naturalist and award-winning photographer. These rare wildflowers and their descriptions are organized by habitat, and the book draws attention to the enduring beauty of Kentucky’s old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, and other habitats. In addition to serving as a stunning photographic record of Kentucky’s rare plants, the book examines ecological communities and the ways in which they are threatened. The authors also explain how various plants have become endangered over the decades and suggest concrete steps for conservation and preservation at both the government and private level. The book also includes references, a list of scientific and common species names, and a list of each plant’s endangered status that is especially useful to gardeners, botanists, and horticultural professionals. Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky is both a celebration and a call to action to save the plants that are a vital part of Kentucky’s natural heritage.


Praise for Rare Wildflowers in Kentucky

“Beyond reading about the state’s flora, Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky offers its reader a unique opportunity to view many of these disappearing wildflowers seen infrequently by the average person.” —UK News

“Enlightened.” “Two exquisite titles that reflect the unique native treasures found in the commonwealth.” referring to both Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky and Early Stone Houses of Kentucky —Lexington Herald-Leader

“The book is both a beautiful photographic record of Kentucky’s rare plants and a valuable resource for gardeners, botanists and horticultural professionals.” —UK News, Newswise, Science Centric


About the Authors

Thomas G. Barnes is extension professor of forestry and wildlife specialist at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of Gardening for the Birds, Kentucky’s Last Great Places, and Wildflowers and Ferns of KentuckyDeborah White is branch manager and senior botanist at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. Marc Evans is senior ecologist at the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission.