Volume 1 of the Flora of Oregon is Done!

Flora of Oregon cover

The gorgeous cover art was done by the late Bonnie Hall. We are very grateful her husband Jim allowed us to use her serigraphs of Oregon native plants. I can’t wait to pick out another for the next volume!

Well, at least it is done for me. After almost three years of formatting, editing, designing, doing layout, and making seemingly endless corrections, the Flora of Oregon, Volume 1 is out of my hands and at the printer in Korea! Since 2012, I’ve been working with the Oregon Flora Project (OFP) on the monumental task of creating a new flora specifically for Oregon. It will be the first flora that covers all of Oregon since the unillustrated A Manual of the Higher Plants of Oregon by Morton Peck, first published in 1941. It was quite intimidating at first, putting together what turned out to be a 608-page book with hundreds of illustrations, almost 100 photos, and descriptions of over 1,000 taxa. I didn’t come on board until the actual writing of the Flora was underway, so it was an even more daunting task for the OFP staff, who’d been working on collecting and organizing the data for a couple of decades.

One of several drawings I did for the Flora. I'm not very fast, and I had plenty to keep me busy working on the layout, but I really wanted to make sure one of my favorite plants was represented. John Myers is in charge of artwork and did almost all the wonderful new drawings, but we also got permission to use drawings from Flora of North America at no cost, allowing for far more illustrations than might have been afforded otherwise.

One of several drawings I did for the Flora. I’m not very fast, and I had plenty to keep me busy working on the layout, but I really wanted to make sure one of my favorite plants was represented. John Myers is in charge of artwork and did almost all the wonderful new illustrations, but we also got permission to use drawings from Flora of North America at no cost, allowing for far more illustrations than might have been afforded otherwise.

I think we’re all pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team, and I hope readers will find it useful and informative as well as attractive. For those interested in our native plants, it ought to be considered a necessary addition to their library. Hopefully, you’ll all feel that way when you get a chance to see it in person, if all goes well by late summer. In addition to producing the book files, I contributed several drawings, a little writing, and a number of photographs. It was a great experience being able to combine my love of plants with my skills as a designer and artist. It’s certainly been a dream job for me, and I’m thankful OFP was willing to give me a chance to be a part of producing the Flora (Thank you Linda and Stephen!).

Volume 1 covers the pteridophytes (ferns and their “allies,” including clubmosses, horsetails, and the like), gymnosperms (mainly conifers), and monocots (wonderful things like lilies, irises, camas, and so on). Work is already underway on Volume 2a, which will cover the dicot families A–F. There are three times as many dicots as there are plants covered in Volume 1, so it will take two volumes (2b will cover the rest of the alphabet) to deal with them all. I’m pleased about this because it will make the work load more manageable (I still need to get out and botanize!). Hopefully we can finish the next volume in a couple of years. There was a steep learning curve for the first book, but we’ve all learned a great deal about putting a book together and trust it will be a more efficient process this next time around.

Exploring Oregons Diversity 56-57

A section of the book from one of the introductory chapters on places to see plants in Oregon. The two photos on this spread are mine.

To order the book, go to the website of Brit Press, the publisher. Ordering directly from them will give OFP the largest percentage of the price and will allow them to continue their great work. You will also most likely be able to buy a book in person from OFP staff at some NPSO meetings or other events this coming fall. I’ll be sure to bring some to our local NPSO chapter in Eugene. I hope you’ll all be as excited as I am to see the final book!

The majority of the book is devoted to descriptions of plant families, genera, and species and keys to help with identification.

The majority of the book is devoted to descriptions of plant families, genera, and species and keys to help with identification.

3 Responses to “Volume 1 of the Flora of Oregon is Done!”

  • Greg:

    Thank you for the time and effort that you put into this! I have ordered my copy and look forward to reading it.

  • Ivan:

    Oh wow– I’m super excited to get this book! Congratulations!

  • Congratulations on this huge achievement! When I sent my manuscript off to my editor I expressed some angst that I hadn’t included everything I wanted to (with the sharp deadline). To that she replied, “A book is never done … it just goes to the printer!”

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