Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History

By Carol Gracie

Princeton University Press, 2012; 290 pages, $29.95

If you receive this book in the dead of winter, it will stir your mind and warm your heart. And, I’m sure, you will hurry outdoors at the first breath of warm weather to view for yourself the delicate wonders of the springtime blooms so eloquently chronicled in every entry. If you live in New England, you may want to head to the White Mountains to view lady-slippers—a type of orchid whose blossom resembles a silken ballet shoe. Even earlier, you may see the mottled, bulblike flower of a skunk cabbage, which metabolically generates heat that can often melt the lingering snow around it. Brilliantly rendered photographs grace every page, making this an ideal present to admire with the family at holiday time and to return to every time spring knocks on your door.

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