Laird Blackwell Wildflower Godfather

July 2, 2016

Tahoe-Culture-Mountain-HeatherLocal naturalist and wildflower author Laird Blackwell can help settle many a debate heard on the trails.


For many, identifying wildflowers is serious business (and lots of fun!) Corn Lilly or Monument Plant? Scarlet penstemon or gilia? Balsamroot or Mule Ear?


If you’re a wildflower addict (guilty), you probably have one of Blackwell’s wildflower field guides:

  • Wildflowers of the Tahoe Sierra (1997)
  • Wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada and Central Valley (1999)
  • Wildflowers of Mount Rainier (2000)
  • Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra and Adjoining Mojave Desert and Great Basin (2002)
  • Great Basin Wildflowers (2006)
  • Tahoe Wildflowers: A Month-by-Month Guide (2007)

Laird Blackwell received his Ph.D from Stanford University in 1974 in Education and Psychology and was a Professor at Sierra Nevada College for 26 years, 16 of those years as Chair of the Humanities Department. He taught courses in psychology, literature, philosophy, and mythology and field courses in wildflowers at Sierra Nevada College, and recently retired and now enjoys walking in wildflowers – of course!