The countryside around us is teaming with wild flowers and flora. Each plant is an intrinsic part of its landscape, however fleeting its lifespan, and each is a small component of an ecosystem that provides food, a home and shelter to birds, insects and other wildlife. While it is often those flowers with showy, colourful or deliciously scented blooms that attract our attention first, a closer look at a small patch of land will reveal a myriad species of flora, each with a unique structure, colouring, size, shape and scent. This wide-ranging and lavish book presents an expert survey of the incredible floral diversity of the different regions of the world. More than 1730 species of flowers, grasses, herbs, rushes, sedges, trees, shrubs, and aquatic and carnivorous plants are featured. Many are common species that are easy to identify, while some are more rare and even endangered species. The encyclopedia is arranged according to region and then by plant family. The key features of each main entry are described to help identify the species, and information is given on height and spread, flowering time, flower shape, size, petal number, habit and form of the plant, leaf number and shape, pollinator, stem size, seed and fruit details. Each entry is illustrated with a botanically accurate profile of the plant, together with identifying details and a map showing where in the world the species originated. Other noteworthy species of each family are included and presented with their key features. A comprehensive introduction looks at the world of wild flowers and the history of their classification. It describes many of the habitats around the world where wild flowers thrive, from mountainous regions to temperate meadows to deserts to floodplains, and looks at the ways that plants have adapted to survive in their habitats. Included too is all the information you need to be able to identify the key parts of a plant and understand the role each plays in the plant?s survival and the evolution of the species. All the key flower shapes, habits, leaf shapes and arrangements are included to aid identification. The life cycle of the plant is also described, from tiny seed dispersed from the parent plant, to seedling, flowering pollinated plant, and finally to seed head. With 3800 specially commissioned watercolours, maps and photographs, this beautifully illustrated guide to the wild flowers and flora is a comprehensive and expert volume for every naturalist.