Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens: A Handbook for Gardeners, Homeowners, and Professionals

Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens: A Handbook for Gardeners, Homeowners, and Professionals

by Gil Nelson


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An essential guide to native plants of the Southeast

"This book is filled to the brim with important information on native plants and is a must for any serious gardener in the southeastern region of the country."Ginny Stibolt, author of Sustainable Gardening for Florida


"Here is an authoritative, fact-filled guide for growing southeastern native plants from the author who wrote the field guides for identifying our native plants. His experience and knowledge will help us all become better native plant gardeners."Steven P. Christman, editor,


Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens highlights and illustrates several hundred readily available and easy-to-grow native species for gardeners and landscapers living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

These native plants include shrubs, small and large trees, and a collection of perennials, all of which have proven to be extremely successful landscape plants in the southeastern United States. The average homeowner will be able to find many of these species in local retail nurseries whether or not these nurseries specialize in native plants.

Gil Nelson has created an indispensable, authoritative publication that describes and recommends high-performing native plants, tells readers how to avoid the use of invasive species in their gardens, and highlights the design of several specialty and wildlife gardens. With the help of regional experts, the included species have been selected based on field visits to retail and wholesale nurseries, private and public gardens and arboreta, personal knowledge and experience, and discussions with landscape and gardening enthusiasts, professionals, and experts throughout the region. The inclusion of more than 600 color photos makes this an easy-to-use, valuable addition to any gardener's library.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813034584
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 09/05/2010
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,086,207
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Gil Nelson is a writer, naturalist, and field botanist specializing in the southeastern United States. He is the author of a dozen successful gardening and botanical field guides including Florida's Best Native Landscape Plants.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

Financial Sponsorship xi

Part I Gardening with Native Plants

1 Gardening with Native Plants: An Introduction 3

2 Gardening with Native Plants: Historical Highlights 16

3 Weeds, Aliens, and Invasive Plants 23

4 Re-creating Nature: Theme Gardening with Native Plants 42

Part II Favorite Groups of Native Plants

5 Old-Timey Natives 69

6 Challenge Plants 93

7 Native Azaleas, Mountain Laurel, Blueberries, and Other Heaths 104

8 Magnolias and Their Relatives 134

9 Maples, Buckeyes, Sumacs, and Wafer Ash 159

10 Hollies 172

11 Native Roses 193

12 Perennial Asters 212

13 Perennial Beans, Mints, and Milkweeds 236

14 Vines, Groundcovers, and Spring Ephemerals 261

Part III Catalog of 100 Good Doers 293

Sources for Native Plants 391

Reference List of Names Used in the Text 399

Bibliography 403

Index 407

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