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Native Plants & Wildflowers

See also: Sustainable Gardening, Natural Landscaping, Botany, Gardens for Wildlife, and Wildlife and Wildflowers.


Selected Books

Armitage, Allan M.
Armitage's Native Plants for North American Gardens
SB439.26.N7A76 2006
Armitage isn't a native plant fanatic and he doesn't live in our region (he's a professor in Georgia) but his encyclopedic work is fun to read and includes information on propagation as well as cultivation.
Burrell, C. Colston
Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
SB439.B875 2006x
This Brooklyn Botanic Garden Handbook suggests native alternatives to nonnative landscaping plants that tend to be invasive -- like Euonymus (burning bush), Butterfly Bush (Buddleja), and English ivy.
Cullina, William
Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses
q SB429.C85 2008
William Cullina of the New England Wildflower Society has published a welcome book for gardeners interested in foliage plants but reticent to plant exotics from other continents. Each section is introduced with information on how to garden with these plants and what they need.
Cullina, William
Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: A Guide to Using, Growing, and Propagating North American Woody Plants
q SB435.5.C86 2002
This is the second book in the series by William Cullina for the New England Wildflower Society, a companion to the one below on herbaceous plants.
Cullina, William
The New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada
q SB439.B85 2000
This most complete and authoritative guide to North American wildflowers offers clear and detailed information on growing and propagating 200 genera and 1,000 species of these precious plants.
Druse, Kenneth
The Natural Habitat Garden
q SB439 .D66 1994
This classic by an expert gardener and photographer shows how to create a beautiful garden using native plants.
Johnson, Lorraine
100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for American Gardens in Temperate Zones
SB439.26.N7 J18 2009
A pioneering book when first published in 1999, this is a revised edition. Johnson provides color photographs for all the plants, which are arranged alphabetically by common name. She also gives cultivation requirements, propagation techniques, a list of good companion plants and related species.
Johnson, Lorraine
Grow Wild!: Low-Maintenance, Sure-Success, Distinctive Gardening with Native Plants
SB439.26.N7 J64 1998
An overview of native plant gardening with information covering the entire U.S.
Leopold, Donald J.
Native Plants of the Northeast: a Guide for Gardening & Conservation
q SB439.24.N67 L46 2005
This is a good handbook for indentifying and suggesting native plants for use in the garden. The description of each plant includes the zone, soil and light requirements but also propagation information and some comments about the plant.
Rhoads, Ann Fowler and Timothy A. Block
The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual
r QK183.R56 2007
This is the second edition of a 1000+ page reference book that was developed in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Flora Project and compiled by botanists at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. The Audubon Center for Native Plants says it is the definitive botanical guide to PA species and the most accurate identification of native and non-native species.
Sternberg, Guy
Native Trees for North American Landscapes: From the Atlantic to the Rockies
rq SB435.5.S74 2004 (noncirculating)
Summers, Carolyn
Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East
Summers, an adjunct professor at Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College in New York, approaches landscape design from an ecological perspective, encouraging professional horticulturalists and backyard enthusiasts alike to intensify their use of indigenous or native plants because they form the basis of the food web.
Tallamy, Douglas W.
Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens
SB439.T275 2007
Tallamy is suggesting a radical change in mindset for the gardener: instead of searching for pest-free ornamentals, we need to look for native plants that will provide food for native wildlife, particularly for insects that provide the bulk of food for many other animals. The 2009 publication is subtitled: "how you can sustain wildlife with native plants".
Towe, L. Clarence
American Azaleas
SB413.A9 T68 2004
Towe, from South Carolina, groups these natives by region so that you'll know which can survive in the north.
Weidensaul, Scott
Mountains of the Heart: A Natural History of the Appalachians
QH104.5.A6 W45 1994
Scott Weidensaul has spent all his life in the Appalachian ranges of eastern Pennsylvania. In this book, he shows how geology, ecology, climate, evolution and more than 10,000 years of human history have shaped one of the continent's greatest landscape features into an ecosystem of unmatched diversity and beauty.

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Web Sites


Pittsburgh Region

  • Audubon Center for Native Plants
    This is a site from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania at Beechwood Farms (Dorseyville Road in the North Hills) whose mission it is to promote the use of native plants in landscaping. They have a Native Plant sale twice a year, in spring and in fall.
  • Flora Pittsburghensis
    "The city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs are full of wild flowers, and somebody needs to take their pictures. The main purpose of this collection is simply to enjoy the beauty of the natural world." This blog also contains lots of information about each plant, some are natives, some are "weeds".
  • Food Under Foot
    This local blog's mission is to help people identify and learn to use the safe wild edible plants that grow all around us. Not all of them will be native plants but they are wild.
  • My Wildflowrs
    MyWildflowers has a database of wildflower species with pictures that allows you to identify an unknown flower by selecting color, bloom shape, height or month. This is a Western Pennsylvania site with information on the flowers along popular bicycle trails.
  • Phipps Conservatory Native Plants Certificate Program
    Phipps offers a variety of classes leading to a certificate.
  • Sylvania Natives
    Western Pennsylvania’s only privately owned nursery exclusively growing and selling quality, local genotype plants native to the region. Located off an alley in Squirrel Hill.



Nearby States


Last updated Monday January 07 2013.