Recommended Plant References & Books for





Excellent sources for horticultural information of any sort include books, internet research and personal advice from experienced and knowledgeable gardeners. Other helpful references include maps of climate zones, rainfall, soil composition and information you can receive from your local Extension Office or Master Gardener organization. I

If researching a specific plant in doing internet research, always use the botanical name as a first resort, and common name only when that is the only known reference. Be weary of the sources of information on the internet. Remember, anyone can post information whether right or wrong, opinion or based on research. Go only to trusted source sites and keep them bookmarked for future reference. We always try to find two or more sources for information we seek to make sure there is consensus or agreement on the facts provided.

We have provided separate pages with Recommended Books, Climate Zone information, and Links to other sites that are educational and non-commercial in nature, to help you find additional information.

First, let's look at some recommended books for your central Texas gardening library.



Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Michael Dirr, University of Georgia, 1990, Fourth Edition, Stipes Publishing Company,

A Field Guide to Texas Trees, Benny J. Simpson, Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, TX, 1992, 372 pages

Carolina Landscape Plants, Gordon Halfacre and Anne Shawcroft, Sparks Press, Raleigh, NC, 325 pages

Agaves, Yuccas, and Related Plants - Mary and Gary Irish, Timber Press, 2002, 312 pages, color photos and excellent information about these dry climate plants including identification keys

Perennials for the Southwest - Mary Irish, Timber Press, 2006, 312 pages, color photos and excellent information about arid climate plants.

Trees and Shrubs for the Southwest - Woody Plants for Arid Climates: Mary Irish, Timber Press, 2009, 332 pages

Native Texas Plants - Sally and Andy Wasowski, Second Edition, Gulf Publishing Co., 407 pages, a comprehensive reference book on gardening with Texas native plants, region by region.

Creating a Drought-Resistant Garden in Central Texas - It’s all about water-thrifty gardening in central Texas! A sustainable approach toward gardening is one of the many ways homeowners can soften their impact on the local environment. This book tells you how.

Native and Adaptive Landscape Plants - An earthwise guide for Central Texas - City of Austin, 2014 How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest - Jill Nokes, Univ. of Texas Press, 2001, 566 pages

Lawn Gone! Low Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for your Yard - Pam Pennick, 192 pages, 2013, An essential guide to low-water, easy-care lawn alternatives for beginning gardeners and anyone concerned about the environmental costs of maintaining a lawn.

The Water Saving Garden, How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with Less Water, Pam Penick, 228 pages, 2016, A wonderful companion book for Lawn Gone which explores ways to garden using much less water.