Here are some of the books that I use most. Just a small part of what's in my home library.
My top two favorite books for Beginners are
The Herb Book by John Lust
Covers almost 500 medicinal plants, including many native species, as well as recipes for many herbal concoctions.
A wealth of information in an inexpensive paperback edition. Not the best illustrations but you can look those up online.
Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide You'll find most plants in this book.
Those two will get you on a path to recognize herbs that you see.
The Herb Book is crammed with a bit of everything herbal so it is a great starter guide.
Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants
Steven Foster/ Roger Caras - Good reading to increase awareness of dangers you may encounter in the wild.
You need to learn the poisonous plants first, so you don't make mistakes that can make you sick or even kill you.
Many medicinal wild herbs have poisonous look-alikes.
Peterson’s Guides: Peterson’s has a book for every nature lover.
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants : Eastern and Central North America
Steven Foster and James A. Duke. Color Herb Photos, Line drawings and good descriptions of wild herbs.
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America
Roger Tory Peterson- More than 370 edible wild plants, plus 37 poisonous look-alikes, are described here, with 400 drawings and 78 color photographs showing precisely how to recognize each species. Also included are habitat descriptions, lists of plants by season, and preparation instructions for 22 different food uses.
Peterson’s Field Guide : Wildflowers of the Eastern and Central North America
by Margaret McKenny and Roger Tory Peterson.
Grouped by color and by plant characteristics, 1,293 species in 84 families are described and illustrated. Included here are all the flowers you’re most likely to encounter in the eastern and north-central U.S., westward to the Dakotas and southward to North Carolina and Arkansas, as well as the adjacent parts of Canada.
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places, Steve Brill: Hearst Books, NY, 1994
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern Region Neiring and Olmstead Good color photos in this one!
Wildflowers of the Central South Thomas E. Hemmerly
Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States
Wilbur H. Duncan, Leonard E. Foote Hundreds of color photos, this is one of my favorites.
The Complete Medicinal Herbal
Penelope Ody - A practical guide to the healing properties of more than 250 natural remedies for common ailments.
Step by step color photos makes herbal preparation easy to learn.
Herbal Healing for Women Rosemary Gladstar
Simple home remedies for women of all ages. Natural treatments for teenage acne, PMS, morning sickness, hot flashes, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Just reading this one can help you feel better, Rosemary writes on a personal level. I was lucky enough to meet her at the Red Boiling Springs Folk Medicine Festival in 1998, she is a remarkable inspiring woman.
Indian Herbology of North America - Alma Hutchens Out of Print, used copies on Amazon.com