Professor Co-Authors Book on Woody Plants of Kentucky, Tennessee

Jones photo

An Eastern Kentucky University professor has co-authored the first book about woody plants of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Dr. Ron Jones, Foundation Professor of biological sciences and curator of the herbarium at EKU, teamed with Dr. B. Eugene Wofford, research professor and herbarium director at the University of Tennessee, to produce “Woody Plants of Kentucky and Tennessee: The Complete Winter Guide to Their Identification and Use.” The book was published by University Press of Kentucky and is available on its website, at and on several other online sites.

The book treats 457 species, and provides color photographs (taken by Wofford) of more than 90 percent of the species. The photographs provide detailed views of twig features such as buds, scars, pith and armature, as well as images of leaves and fruits as they might appear in the winter. The book also includes dichotomous keys to the species, along with information on the Latin meanings of the names, genus descriptions, common names, habitats, distributions, conservation status, toxicity, wetland status, and invasiveness categories. In addition, readers can learn about the uses of the plants in winter, including which species can be utilized for food, medicine, fiber and weapons (constructing bows and arrows).

“The book is the result of five years of research and writing,” Jones noted, “and is the first treatment of woody plants of the two-state region. It’s the only book on the market that provides such detailed color photographs of all the woody plants of a major section of the eastern U.S.”

In 2006, Jones’s book, “Plant Life of Kentucky,” was nominated as a Significant Work in Botanical or Horticultural Literature by The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries.

His latest is another “significant contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the plants of Kentucky, Tennessee and adjacent regions of the Southeast,” said Dr. Zack Murrell of the Appalachian State University biology faculty. “The images will be of tremendous benefit to those seeking to identify plants during the fall, winter and early spring.”

According to the publisher, “Woody Plants” can be “taken into the field or enjoyed at home” as “a comprehensive and accessible resource for professional and amateur botanists, students, commercial landscapers, homeowners, and outdoor enthusiasts.”

Jones will be at Joseph-Beth in Lexington on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. to participate in an author panel and book signing.

Published on December 02, 2013

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