Most of these books should be available from the internet booksellers. Some are available at local bookstores. Most of them can be previewed at the Manatee County Library branch in Holmes Beach. There is a reference shelf there with these and other pertinent information donated to the Library by Anna Maria's Environmental Enhancement and Education Committee (EEEC). All prices quoted are approximate. If the Amazon link is not to that book, search there for the ISBN number. Even if a book is out of print, used copies are often available.
Natural Florida Landscaping • Dan Walton and Laurel Schiller
A Gardener's Guide To Florida Native Plants • Osorio
A perfect primer for newcomers to Florida and/or to the task of creating an ideal patch of nature to live in -- a compact overview of the differences between natural landscaping and the preconceptions of conventional Florida gardening. It provides the context within which all the other native plant books can become useful to you. $11. ISBN# 978-1-56164-388-2 at Amazon.
A book that has been well received as accurate and useful by native plant experts. 359 excellent color photos. $18. ISBN# 0-8130-1852-8 at Amazon.
Native Florida Plants • Haehle & Brookwell
A comprehensive book on natives that are useful in landscaping. Great photos! $20. ISBN# 0-88415-425-4 at Amazon.
Growing Native • Richard W. Workman
A wonderful 1981 book about the Coastal Uplands plants on this coast. Focus is on plants native from Tampa Bay to Naples. Equally enjoyable and informative. One description and one excellent large black/white photo per spread. $30. ISBN# 0916224600 at Amazon.
Shrubs And Woody Vines of Florida • Nelson
A narrower range of plants, but those useful in landscaping. The more info the better! $31. ISBN# 1-56164-106-5 at Amazon.
Florida Wildflowers • Bell & Taylor
A small classic. Includes a multitude of Florida wildflowers, only some of which are native. ISBN# 0960868801. About $21 at Amazon.
Florida Wildflowers In Their Natural Communities • Taylor
A classic's sequel. $17. ISBN# 0813016169 at Amazon.
Seashore Plants of South Florida and the Caribbean • Nellis
A small book and only partially pertinent to local landscaping. But the descriptions are very thorough and often exceptionally interesting as it includes uses that have been made for all parts of plants and trees and some history as well. This little book would be fun and enlightening to read no matter where you live. $12. ISBN# 1-56164-026-3 at Amazon.
Common Coastal Plants in Florida • Barnett and Crewz
A 100-page paperback with a limited but valuable scope. It is devoted to the 17 common salt-tolerant plants found on beaches, dunes and marine wetlands. Color photos and large line drawings help identification. Lists specify soil requirements, planting times, techniques, and maintenance guidelines. $17.95. ISBN# 0-8130-1551-0 at University Press of Florida.
Florida's Best Native Landscape Plants • Gil Nelson
The subtitle reads,"200 readily available species for homeowners and professionals". This book is a good idea only fairly well executed. Though it would be nice and precise if someday we called all plants by their scientific name, the inordinate length and complexity of so many of them makes that unlikely. In the meantime to throw a book at homeowners without a common name index is self-defeating. It would be preferable to select one standard for common names -- say Wunderlin or such -- and try to universalize that. Some of the 180 full-page watercolor illustrations are, even if technically accurate, artistically awkward and unappealing, but at least there are multiple smaller photos for each species to compensate. It can nevertheless be of value if used with your specific plant list in hand for focus and to reconnect the names. It does have some information and some pictures the others don't. And as mom always said, "If I get just one good recipe out of a cookbook, it's worth the money." $34.95. ISBN# 0-8130-2644-X at University Press of Florida.