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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.

Illustrated Books:

Natural Florida Landscaping • Dan Walton and Laurel Schiller
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 Gardener's Guide To Florida Native Plants • Osorio
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.


Reference Books:

Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida • Wunderlin
The primary authority for what is or is not native to Florida, this is a botanist's book...with the identification of plants by "keys" to the shape of leaves, stems, etc. Used with diligence and patience, it can tell you the differences between native plants and those that have naturalized themselves or escaped from cultivation. It can also point to where a plant grows wild in Florida today, which can be a hint to what it needs to survive. $35. ISBN# 0813015561 at Amazon.

Xeric Landscaping With Florida Native Plants • Jameson & Moyroud
This book was created by the Association of Florida Native Nurseries and published in 1991. It maps the 19 different plant associations due to differences of soil, climate, water availability and history in the state of Florida. It then lists the scientific and common names of the plants native in each of these associations and presents them in 3 comprehensive lists for North Florida, Central Florida, and South plus South-South Florida.

Each of these lists is organized into plant types and uses: Canopy Trees, Understory Trees, Shrubs, Ground Covers, and Wildflowers. This specificity makes it an invaluable aid in creating a landscape of plants native to a specific location.

Unfortunately, it is currently out of print and unavailable. But there is a reference copy in the EEEC bookcase at the Holmes Beach Library. It was $14 when last available. Search for used copies. ISBN# 096297613X at Amazon.

[If you click the PLANTS link at the top of any page of this site, there is a plant list for the regional barrier islands that was primarily based on the lists in this book].


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