From Claude A. Barr did not set out to be a writer. In 1910, he homesteaded 160 acres of prairie in the southwest corner of South Dakota, intending to become a farmer. Despite challenging conditions, Barr fell in love with the land and its native flora. He began contributing profiles of plains wildflowers to gardening magazines, which precipitated requests for seed and led him to start a mail-order nursery, Prairie Gem Ranch. What began as a Depression-era sideline eventually gained a worldwide clientele, and Barr became a respected ambassador for the wildflowers of this part of the American landscape.
Decades of observing plants in the wild and growing them for his nursery, as well as careful study of scientific sources, gave Barr unequaled knowledge that culminated in this acclaimed book. Wonderfully written and deeply researched, Edited to incorporate new scientific information, this edition includes an Introduction and supplemental notes by botanist and horticulturalist James H. Locklear. He places Barr s remarkable life and work in historic and scientific context, illuminating his accomplishments from a fresh perspective.