How the Earth Turned Green

by Joseph E. Armstrong

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. 576 pages.

How the Earth Turned Green should be required reading for all pre-service biology teachers and on the bookshelf of all K–16 science instructors,” writes reviewer Marshall D. Sundberg, for “Armstrong uses plant evolution, in the broad sense, to demonstrate how to teach the big ideas of science underlying the evolution of life on Earth. ... His refreshing wit and straightforward commentary lead the reader through an evolutionary explanation of why a predominant color of earth is green.”

Plant Life

by Roland Ennos and Elizabeth Sheffield
Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2001. 217 pages.

From the publisher: "There are almost one third of a million species of plants, which range in form from unicellular algae a few microns in diameter to gigantic trees that can grow to a height of 100 meters. Plant Life makes sense of the bewildering diversity of plants by treating them not just as photosynthetic factories, but as living organisms that are the survivors of millions of years of evolutionary struggle.

The Evolutionary Biology of Plants

by Karl J. Niklas
Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1997. 470 pages.

The reviewer for American Scientist describes The Evolutionary Biology of Plants as "a well-thought-out and elegantly written guide to the origins and causes of diversity among plant groups [that] allows us to grapple with the logic behind evolutionary change.

The Evolution of Plants

by K. J. Willis and J. C. McElwain
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 378 pages.

The reviewer for Current Books on Gardening & Botany describes The Evolution of Plants as "a magnificent review of recent research in paleobotany, paleogeography, paleoecology and paleoclimatology — all focused on plants.

Plant Variation and Evolution

by David Briggs and Stuart Max Walters
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 534 pages.

First published in 1969 and now in its third edition, Briggs and Walters's classic text is fully up-to-date with coverage of the implications of molecular biology for plant variation and evolution. The reviewer for the Journal of Plant Physiology describes Plant Variation and Evolution as "suitable for university students in Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Botany and Plant Biology. It is particularly a useful book for updates.

Plants Invade the Land

edited by Patricia G. Gensel and Dianne Edwards
New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. 512 pages.

Gensel and Edwards's anthology collects 13 papers originally presented at the Fifth International Organization of Paleobotany Conference in 1996, dealing with the invasion of the land by plant life. "The essays in this collection," writes the publisher, "present a synthesis of our present state of knowledge, integrating current information in paleobotany with physical, chemical, and geological data." According to the reviewer for Choice, "[Gensel and Edwards have] accomplished what often eludes editors ...

The Origin and Early Diversification of Early Land Plants

by Paul Kenrick and Peter R. Crane
Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997. 592 pages.

From the publisher, Smithsonian Institution Press: "Illustrated with line drawings and complete with appendices detailing the morphology of early fossil plants and their living relatives, The Origin and Early Diversification of Land Plants discusses the implications of its phylogenetic conclusions for understanding the evolution of land plant structure, life cycles, the appearance of groups in the fossil record, biogeographic patterns, and related geological events." Kenrick and Crane won the Henry Allan Gleason Award, conferred annually by the New York Botanical Garden for a rece

Petrified Wood

by Frank J. Daniels
Grand Junction, CO: Western Colorado Pub. Co., 1998. 170 pages.

A lavishly illustrated guide to petrified wood, suitable both for the collector's reference shelf and for the coffee table. The author writes, "While a beautiful, well-silicified, gem quality, colorful branch of petrified wood is now a rock, it once was part of a tree — a tree that may have been growing in a distant forest over 200 million years ago. Some of these trees grew when the continents of the earth were joined into one. It is difficult to imagine the events that allowed these petrifications to occur and the forces that later allowed them to be unearthed.

Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants

by Wilson N. Stewart and Gar W. Rothwell
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. 535 pages.

Stewart and Rothwell's popular paleobotany textbook, now in its second edition, describes and explains the origin and evolution of plants as revealed by the fossil record and reviews the paleobotanical data that informs our present understanding of the relationships between the major plant groups. Supplemented with line illustrations, half-tones, and summary charts.

Common Fossil Plants of Western North America

by William D. Tidwell
Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 1998. 302 pages.

First published in 1975, the revised second edition of Common Fossil Plants of Western North America added 79 new genera and over 350 illustrations (bringing the total to over 800). For anyone interested in hunting and identifying fossil plants, especially west of the Mississippi, Tidwell's reference is simply a necessity.