New book on shrubs and vines promotes the Midwest's native species
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - As Purdue University forestry and natural resources professors, it's easy to see why Sally and Harmon Weeks gravitate to all things green - and sometimes yellow, purple, blue or red. They've taken their work a step further by taking it home with them, planting native Indiana shrubs and woody vines around their home in order to attract wildlife.
Now, the wife and husband team have written a comprehensive book that is a definitive guide to plant identification, suitable not only for nature enthusiasts but also for natural resource managers, horticulturalists, and landscape planners. "Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest: Identification, Wildlife Values, and Landscaping Use," published by Purdue University Press, is set to hit bookstores in mid- March.
The book provides the newest material on the state's shrubs and vines since Indiana botanist Charles C. Deam's 1932 "Shrubs of Indiana." In fact, the Weeks drew their inspiration from his work.
"Deam said to know the plants, you have to live with them," Sally writes in the Weeks' book's preface. "Over the past 20 years, we have propagated and purchased as many native shrubs and woody vines as possible and watched them grow (or not). Much of our experience and many of our comments stem from this venture."
The Weeks point out that their background is in wildlife and forestry so their ideas are different from someone who has been trained horticulturally. Still, they hope to foster awareness of the state's native shrubs and woody vines and to help continue a strong and long tradition of the use of native species throughout the Midwest.
The book's 450-plus pages serve as an identification guide to all of the shrubs and woody vines of Indiana and provide coverage for more than 90 percent of the species to be found in surrounding states. As well as covering indigenous species, it also includes all of the most problematic currently known invasive, exotic shrubs and vines. In total, there are 165 species contained in the work.
Descriptive text, supported by 1,500 color photographs taken by Sally, explains how to identify every species in any season. The couple have been teaching plant identification courses at Purdue for decades and, thus, have many helpful tips. The authors provide practical guidance concerning the potential ornamental value of each species for those interested in landscaping and also evaluate their use by wildlife for both food and cover. The volume includes distribution maps, identification keys, and an index of both common and Latin names.
"This is the type of regional book for which we're always searching when we visit other parts of the United States and Canada, but rarely find," say the authors. "Once folks see it, they'll have to have it."
Sally Weeks, who grew up on a dairy farm near Winamac, Ind., received her bachelor's degree in wildlife management and her master's degree in forestry from Purdue and now teaches tree and shrub identification.
Harmon Weeks Jr. is a Purdue professor emeritus of wildlife science in forestry and natural resources and has taught habitat management for more than 30 years.
For more information about the book, or to purchase, call 1-800-247-6553 or visit https://www.thepress.purdue.edu. The book is also available from our Purdue Extension's, The Education Store at https://www.The-Education-Store.com, as well as all major bookstores.
Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Sally Weeks, 765-494-3567, email@example.com