Field Guides allow the public to participate in botanical assessment, to appreciate their flora and thereby to provide a better chance of sustaining it. Even botanists are hampered by lack of any accessible guides to biodiverse regions. This has been discussed this in Lawrence and Hawthorne, and here. [link to VFH field guide]
RBS is facilitated by field guides if they are available, but all too often they are not. However, RBS is an ideal framework to develop the resource, to add to the often limited information available in herbaria:
Field Guides can often be added as an extra goal of a particular survey. They are both enabling of other research, but their production also involves plenty of research in itself. Very often, characters (especially vegetative ones) that could allow us to distinguish plants in the field or herbarium specimens are poorly documented. Many of these incompletely researched features, such as glands, domatia, liane wood structure, are likely to influence ecological function of the species, so our research into their distribution has relevance beyond mere species recognition.