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15-Power Jeweler's Loupe

This compact, high-power 15-power magnifying lens is ideal for botany and general nature studies—much better than the more common 10-power lenses that sell for three times the price in jewelry stores, or the 5-power reading magnifying glasses common in homes.

Many plant parts are too small to distinguish with the naked eye. Some of these are dazzlingly beautiful, and some help you distinguish between edible and poisonous plants.

Common milkweed, for example, provides a delicious cooked vegetable, but dogbane, which looks very similar, especially before the plants flower, is poisonous. The loupe reveals tiny hairs on milkweed's stem, and none on dogbane's.

To use the loupe, hold it right up to your eye, like eyeglasses. Then bring the plant toward the loupe until it's almost touching the lens, and the subject will come into clear focus. Enjoy!

Unfortunately, my wholesaler stopped making these loupes available, and a dishonest Chinese supplier sold me low-power loupes advertised as high-power ones, so for now, the loupes are unavailable. )-: