Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gift Guide for the Amateur Botanist

I realize that I have not yet done a Christmas gift guide and I mean to remedy that today. It may be a bit last minute and even obscure, but I wanted to curate some items centered around a hobby of mine: Botany. What's that? you might say. Isn't that a course you sign up for to fill your natural sciences requirement in undergrad? The answer is yes, but for me that grew into something I really enjoy. Tree and plant identification makes me feel more connected to the world and it adds another enjoyable aspect to hiking and trail running. Sure it takes some memorization and study, but it's nothing this gear can't help with. Enjoy! -hil
details after the jump!

1. Illustrated Book of Trees by William Carey Grimm $26.95
This is the quintessential tree guide for the Eastern United States. It has an easy-to-use key in the front for identification and educates it's reader on the different characteristics one can use to tell trees apart, plus comprehensive explanations of trees and their families.
2. Loupe $22
A loupe is a useful tool in the field for taking a close look at some of the finer characteristics of a leaf, in particular if there is fine toothing along the margins. Plus it easily doubles as a vintage necklace if you hang it on some twine.
3. LeafSnap App free
This is a pretty cool little app that uses recognition software to identify leaves you photograph instead of you having to key them out. It's also a handy way to carry around a database of trees without toting the huge tome from Grimm.
4. Seed Bombs $7 each
If you like to leave a trail of wildflowers behind you everywhere you go, a la Fern Gully, this is just the thing. Toss a seed bomb anywhere you'd like to see some vegetation and watch it grow.
5.Tree Growing Kit $13.99
A great gift to spread your love of trees. This kit provides all you'll need to grow a tree plus specific instructions for it's needs.
6. Vintage Botanical Print $12
I found this particular print on Etsy, but you can find them at flea markets and vintage stores and they show up in some very surprising places. Perfect for any wall: educational and beautiful.
7.Waterproof Field Notebook $36.59
A waterproof notebook ensures your tedious, precious notes will always be safe in the field. Plus this handy case keeps everything together, safe and sound.
8. Plant Press $37.50
A must for anyone who wants to catalogue the plants they've keyed thus far. It helps you learn as you look back through them and creates a log for where you've gone in the field.


  1. I love the idea of seed bombs. Just love 'em.

  2. Also I just downloaded the leaf snap app!