Flowers was the second Golden Guide published. The first hardcover printing of Flowers was the light green hardcover edition with #491 on the spine. Copyright 1950 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. and Artists and Writers Guild, Inc Printed in the U.S.A. by Western Printing and Lithographing Company. The book itself has yellow flower decorated boards and a pictorial cover. The dustjacket and title page state 134 Paintings In Full Color. Back of jacket states that the series now includes Birds and Flowers and will later include books on Insects, Trees, and Mammals. No printing history can be found anywhere on this edition. Price listed on the inside flap of the DJ is $1.00. Simon & Schuster seems to have incorrectly numbered this edition. The Birds HC edition and all subsequent hardcover editions had the number starting with a 5 and the softcover edition starting with a 4. They corrected this when they did the next hardcover edition, which has a dark green cover.
I have another version of Flowers with a pictorial cover and no decorated endpapers. Instead the flower decorated endpapers start on page four. The book still states 134 Paintings In Full Color. I don't have a dustjacket for this book. No number on the spine. And no printing history can be found. I have no idea whether this edition was published before or after the previous version mentioned.
The Permaseal hardcover edition of Flowers again has a number that is not consistent with their numbering system. On the spine is #491. This is also a light green edition. This version is just like the first book, with the flower decorated boards located on the inside covers. Printing code on my copy is B100100 located on the inside front cover.
The next hardcover edition of Flowers has the same cover art, but with a dark green cover. The number on the DJ spine changed to 591. No text on back cover of the book, but top left corner has De Luxe Goldencraft Cloth Binding in black letters. Matching DJ has back cover text followed by list of eleven titles. Inside of DJ printed with B&W pictures and text descriptions of those same eleven books [including 112 Birds]. My copy has an E on the inside flap of the DJ with a price of $1.95. Published by Simon & Schuster. Same decorated flower endpapers.
A hardcover edition of Flowers was published by Golden Press. On the inside flap of the DJ is a price of $2.50. My copy has the letter S on the last page of the index. Number on the spine of DJ and book is 591. Endpapers were changed to the animal related endpapers. But the flower endpapers were moved 3 pages in. And the records page left intact.
Two versions of this title exist in a large (5 ¼ by 7 ¾ inch) hardcover. The first one has the dark green cover. The number on the back cover is 63511. The second one has the medium green cover. The number on the back cover is 0-307-63511-2. I have yet to find the light green version in a large hardcover. But one may exist.
The softcover edition of Flowers was probably issued about the same time as the HC edition. Numbered 491 and published in 1950 by Simon & Schuster. No cover price listed. This edition also has the light green cover. Back cover text states- Golden Nature Guides include Birds, Flowers, Insects, Trees, Stars and Reptiles & Amphibians. They will later include books on Mammals, Seashore Life, Rocks & Minerals, etc. 160 pages with the addition of logo page and dummy title page in front, and two records pages for notes in back adjacent to endpapers similar to the HC. My copy has G100100 at bottom left corner of the inside front cover. Most likely a first printing will have an A100100.
The next softcover edition of Flowers has a dark green cover. My copy has a J100100 on the inside front cover and no cover price. Published by Simon & Schuster. Nature Guides available are listed on the inside front cover. Next is a dummy title page, animal related endpapers, blank page, title page and copyright page. In the back of the book (starting with page 157) is the last index page, animal related endpaper pages, records page and the inside back cover, which lists the authors and illustrators.
Flowers had a minor change a few editions later. The text on the back cover and inside front cover changed, with the addition of new titles. A cover price was added. And the animal related endpapers changed back to the flower decorated endpapers. This seems surprising to me, since it is obviously a later printing. Printing code on page 156 is an N. Still published by Simon & Schuster.
The earliest Golden Press edition of Flowers is dark green again. Still numbered 491. My copy has a $1.00 cover price with the letter S on page 156. Everything else is the same as the previous version.
The next edition of Flowers is dark green again. It has a new number on the spine; 24491. My copy has a $1.00 cover price with the letter P on the last page. This is totally confusing to me. The letter code should be a T or later. Published by Golden Press in 1950.
Another cover change occured with Flowers. Besides changing the text on the cover they changed the background color to medium green. Published by Golden Press. This is a much later edition, 24491 on spine, $1.95 cover price, UU VV WW on page 156, inside front cover lists 38 titles including American Antique Glass and Hallucinogenic Plants, plus five Golden Field Guides, but no Regional or Travel Guides.
Flowers went through one more change. A revised edition was issued in 1987. The number on the back cover is 24054 and has a cover price of $3.95. My copy has the letter A on page 160, which is the records page. The dummy title page is still there, but the flower decorated endpapers are gone. This title is still in print by St. Martins Press.