The University of Wisconsin Press

Biological Sciences / Botany


A Manual of Aquatic Plants
Norman C. Fassett
With Revision Appendix by Eugene C. Ogden

Now in paperback, the historic 1957 botanical guidebook

Though Norman C. Fassett's classic, A Manual of Aquatic Plants, has been superseded by a comprehensive new edition from Garrett Crow and Barre Hellquist, it still has an affectionate following, much like old editions of classic cookbooks and dictionaries. Fassett prepared the data to make the identification of aquatic plants as simple as possible, not only when they are flowering or fruiting, but also in sterile condition.

The Manual covers a region from Minnesota to Missouri and eastward to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Virginia. Originally published in 1940, the Manual was reissued in 1957 with revised nomenclature and other updates by Eugene C. Ogden. A Manual of Aquatic Plants includes 219 elegant line drawings and seven photographs of aquatic plants, a glossary, an appendix of nomenclature revisions, an appendix on the use of aquatic plants by various fauna, and an index.

"Those excellent illustrations . . . are among the best in American botanical literature."
—Joseph Ewan, Quarterly Review of Biology, 1957

"Here is an old friend in a new [edition]. . . . Dr. Fassett's 1940 classic on identification of aquatic and marsh plants is so well known it hardly needs comment."
Journal of Wildlife Management, 1957

Norman C. Fassett (1900–1954) was professor of botany and curator of the Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in a career spanning 1925 to 1954. He was a pioneer in preserving habitat of the rich and diverse flora of Wisconsin. He is also the author of Spring Flora of Wisconsin and Grasses of Wisconsin, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Eugene C. Ogden (1905–2001) was the state botanist with the New York State Museum in Albany. He was the first to feature random-access keys in botany, which are now widely used in computer-assisted identification.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Of Related Interest, this classic title has been extended and revised as Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America, Volume I and Volume II, by Garrett E. Crow and C. Barre Hellquist, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

the cover of Fassett's book is a two tier blend of green, representing the dual nature of aquatic plants, with one of the illustrations of a plant from the book.

September 2006

LC: 57-006593 QK
416 pp.  6 x 9
219 line drawings, seven b/w photos

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Paper $45.00 x
ISBN 978-0-299-01454-4
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Updated April 24, 2012

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