When it comes to plant identification guides, there are still some of the opinion that a good illustration is one of the best aids for identification. Sometimes a good illustration is even better than a photograph because photographs can have many distracting elements like shadows or noisy backgrounds etc. It is no surprise that most taxonomic publications and many old guidebooks use line drawing. The Native Trees of Tasmania authored by Jamie Kirkpatrick and illustrated by Sue Backhouse is now in it’s seventh edition, a testimonial to the endearing qualities of illustrated guides.
There’s a new book on Tasmanian wattles titled Wattles of Tasmania now out in bookshops which follows in the tradition of the illustrated field guide. The author and illustrator Marion Simmons is a well known figure among wattle enthusiasts for her illustrations and written work on Australian wattles (see Marion Simmons profile).
Wattles of Tasmania is unique in that it contains everything one needs to become a self-made expert on the wattles of Tasmania. The book is packed with detailed descriptions and illustrations of all the species of Tasmanian Acacias, including the introduced ones. The taxonomy and nomenclature is also up to date. I found out for example, that what I have known as Acacia verniciflua (Varnished Wattle) for some time now is now Acacia leprosa var. graveolens.
Definitely a valuable addition to the library any wattle connoisseur.