Every Florida Book Project

Native Plants & Gardening

The Florida suburban landscape is one of generic plants, bought at Home Depot or Lowes. They are convenient, familiar, easy. The overwhelming majority of plants in big box garden centers are not, however, native to Florida. These alien species are water hungry, unadapted to extreme temperatures and sandy soil. Underlying the apparent ease and convenience garden centers offer, the suburban yard needs constant and heavy maintenance, a regime of watering and fertilizing. Not only is this labor-intensive and expensive, it is depleting our underground sources of drinking water and poisoning our surface waters with runoff.


Restrictions on yard watering are a way of life where I live in Hillsborough County, a comical system where odd numbered home addresses water on certain days, evens on others. The petty tyranny of deed restrictions perpetuated these asinine conditions until recently. The legislature (in an otherwise flawed bill) passed a law which forbids enforcement of deed restrictions that prohibit xeriscaping. This list is an attempt to assist the homeowner who wants a true Florida lawn, filled with the beautiful (and low-maintenance) plants of our peninsula.


Florida is also home to rare and unique species of plants. Anyone interested in plants will be fascinated to read that Florida is home to more carnivorous plants than any other state as well as the deadly poisonwood tree.

Native Plant Guides

Everglades Wildflowers

Roger Hammer


Florida's Fabulous Trees

Winston Williams

Florida Keys Wildflowers

Roger Hammer


The Trees of Florida

Gil Nelson & Marvin, Jr. Cook (Illustrator)

Florida Exotics

Jack Kramer

Florida's Fabulous Flowers

Winston Williams

Poisonous Plants & Animals of Florida and the Caribbean

David W. Nellis

Florida Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities

Walter Kingsley Taylor

A Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida

Richard P. Wunderlin (Editor)

Seashore Plants of South Florida and the Caribbean

David W. Nellis

Gardening & Xeriscaping

Florida Landscape Plants:

Native and Exotic

John Vertrees Watkins & Marion R. Sheehan (Illustrator)

The Florida Gardener's Guide

Georgia Tasker & Tom Maccubbin

Native Wildflowers and Other Ground Covers for Florida Landscapes

Craig N. Huegel

The Art of South Florida Gardening:

A Unique Guide to Planning, Planting, and making your Sub-Tropical Garden Grow

Harold Songdahl, Coralee Leon, George Curtis (Illustrator)

The Florida Lawn Handbook:

Best Management Practices for Your Home Lawn in Florida

Laurie E. Trenholm

Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens

Monica Moran Brandies

Florida Gardening by the Sea

Mary Jane McSwain

Common Coastal Plants in Florida:

A Guide to Planting and Maintenance

Michael R. Barnett & David W. Crewz (Editors)