Home   About Us   FAQ  
Searching   Image Use Plant Books
FloraFinder uses cookies only for correct operation. More info. Okay

Gardening Bibliography

Although FloraFinder is not a gardening or horticulture site, but here are a few books about gardening that are of particular interest.

Note: book cover sizes in the list below are shown relative to each other. The list is organized by primary author. Some out-of-copyright books are available free at the supplied links.

Edwards's Botanical Register; Consisting of Coloured Figures of Exotic Plants Cultivated in British Gardens; with their History and Mode of Treatment

Author(s): Botanical Register

Published: 1836

Comments: A magazine devoted to gardening in the United Kingdom.

Native Ferns, Moss, and Grasses: From Emerald Carpet to Amber Wave, Serene and Sensuous Plants for the Garden

Author(s): Cullina, William

Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media, 2020

ISBN: 978-1635618969

View at: Amazon

Comments: This books presents a wide selection of native ferns, mosses, and grasses, selected for garden plantings. William Cullina, a horticulturalist, highlights these oft-overlooked “background” plantings. This is the third of three volumes in his series. 256 pages.

North America

The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest

Author(s): Darke, Rich

Publisher: Timber Press, 2002

ISBN: 978-0881925456

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This book is about "capturing the spirit of the deciduous forest." It is lavishly illustrated with captivating photos of artistically balanced forest landscapes. Whether you are reading from the perspective of a landscape designer, or simply enjoy being reminded of nature's beauty, this is an engrossing book. Although not really intended as a field guide, it has a major section on various species of landscaping plants, organized by genus and species. 377 pages.

Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs

Author(s): Dirr, Michael A.

Publisher: Timber Press, 1997

ISBN: 978-0881924046

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This large format, 493-page book describes 500 species in detail, as well as 700 additional cultivars and varieties. The book includes extensive excellent photos, and Michael Dirr assesses suitability for planting. This isn't a field guide, it is a guide for landscapers, but it is nevertheless a very useful reference for those identifying wild and cultivated trees and shrubs.

Covers America.

Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants: Identification and Cultivation of Over 3000 Tropical Plants

Author(s): Fayaz, Ahmed

Publisher: Firefly Books, 2011

ISBN: 978-1554074891

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This is an immensely detailed encyclopedia of tropical and subtropical plants. Plants are organized into four major groups: lycophytes, monilophytes, and gymnosperms (cone-bearing plants and some others); angiosperms (flowering plants); angiosperm monocots; and angiosperm eudicots. Within these major branches plants are organized by family. 3000 species are described in great botantical detail, and include a photo, common names, morphology, flower characteristics, geographical distribution, habitats, cultivation information, and hardiness zones. At 6.4 pounds, this not a field guide: is a true encyclopedia for advanced plant fanatics for pro botanists. 720 pages.

Tropics and subtropics worldwide.

Taylor's Guide to Shrubs

Author(s): Fisher, Kathleen

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000

ISBN: 978-0618004379

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This guide, designed for gardeners, begins with a section with photos, typically two per page. Photos include basic information of interest to gardeners. The second half of the book, organized by genus and species, provides additional information about growing the species. About 500 ornamental or practical species are described. Not really intended for identification. 441 pages.

United States

Exotic Plant Manual: Fascinating Plants to Live With—Their Requirements, Propagation, and Use

Author(s): Graf, Alfred Byrd

Publisher: Roehrs Company, 1974

ISBN: 978-0911266139

View at: Amazon

Comments: This book describes tropical and subtropical plants suitable for use as indoor plants or in gardens. With about 1200 illustrations and over 3000 photos, it covers a great deal of ground. Most photos are black and white. Written descriptions are very comprehensive. The book is literally jammed with information, with 840 pages of small print. This is an encyclopedia and horticulture guide, not a field guide, but with an extensive section with 18 photos per pair of facing pages, it provides a simple way to browse in search of likely matches. Long out of print, I picked up this book at an antique book store.

Tropics and subtropics worldwide.

Cacti and Succulents: An Illustrated Guide to the Plants and Their Cultivation

Author(s): Graham, Charles

Publisher: Crowood Press Ltd., 2003

ISBN: 978-1861268723

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: Lavishly illustrated with beautiful photographs, this book describes about 250 species of succulent plants. It is not a field guide; instead, it is intended for those who enjoy selecting and growing their own plants, or simply admiring their beauty. Many of the plants are photographed in their natural habitats. Descriptions and range maps are not present. 192 pages.

Sedum: Cultivated Stonecrops

Author(s): Stephenson, Ray

Publisher: Timber Press, 2005

ISBN: 978-0881922387

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: Provides cultural information for more than 400 stonecrop species and varieties, an increasingly popular plant for use in gardens and pots.

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

Author(s): Tallamy, Douglas W.

Publisher: Timber Press, 2020

ISBN: 978-0881929928

View at: Amazon

Comments: Douglas Tallamy describes the complex ways in which native species of plants interact with their surroundings and other animals and insects to create a healthy, vibrant habitat. By contrast, landscaping that uses non-native species impedes this balance severely. He makes a clear, non-technical case for gradually replacing non-native plantings with native counterparts. Extensive photographs show representative species and their interactions. 358 pages.

Easy Care Native Plants

Author(s): Taylor, Patricia A.

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 1996

ISBN: 978-0805038613

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This book is a guide to selecting native American flowers, shrubs and trees in gardens and landscapes. It reviews the history of use of native plants. It presents eighteen public gardens in Canada and the United States. Finally, it describes over 500 plants, organized by plant type (e.g. trees, shrubs, groundcovers), then by common name. 325 pages.

North America

Euphorbias: A Gardener’s Guide

Author(s): Turner, Roger

Publisher: Timber Press, 1995

ISBN: 978-0881924190

View at: Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Comments: This book, written by an English euphorbia enthusiast in association with the hardy plant society, describes euphorbias that are suited to growth in temperate climates. Most euphorbias (there are about 2000 total) are tropical or semi-tropical, and this guide omits those. Although targeted at gardeners, the guide contains photos and detailed descriptions of these plants. 192 pages.

Tempting Tropicals

Author(s): Zachos, Ellen

Publisher: Timber Press, 2005

ISBN: 978-0881927320

View at: Author's web site:, or Amazon

Comments: This book describes about 175 tropical plants that are suitable as indoor plants. The author concentrates on plants that are relatively unusual in indoor gardens, and she has a sure eye for eye-catching species. Her descriptions for planting and caring for these species are engaging and free of jargon. Plants are organized by genus and species. 328 pages.