Recommended Reading

Over the decades, members have suggested books to one another. The list below includes publications that cover a variety of topics that our members find interesting and useful. However, the books below have not been reviewed and may include some non-native plant resources. 

You can support the Native Plant Society by purchasing on our Bookstore.

To recommend a book for this list, contact your chapter webmaster.

Geyata Ajilvsgi

In this revised edition of her popular Wildflowers of Texas, native-plant expert Geyata Ajilvsgi gives lay readers the most comprehensive field guide currently available on the state’s abundant wildflowers. With […]

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Marshall Enquist

A comprehensive guide to the flora of one of Texas’ most beautiful regions, Enquist subdivides and provides brief explanations of three geological areas within the Hill Country: the Edwards Plateau, […]

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Louis A. Harveson, Philip Dickerson, Andy James, Reagan Gage, Johnny Arredondo, Shawn Gray, Annaliese Scoggin, Austin Stolte and Jason Wagner

Encompassing 18 West Texas counties, with application in similar habitats, the book provides a thorough introduction to the natural features of the region and descriptions, nutrition values, and management prescriptions […]

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Steve Nelle

This user-friendly guide introduces the most commonly observed riparian vegetation inthe Edwards Plateau and Rio Grande Plains. However, most of the plants presentedherein occur in riparian areas all across Texas, […]

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The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees Douglas W. TallamyThe Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal.
Nature's Best HopeDouglas W. TallamyNature's Best Hope shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats.
Gardening With Prairie Plants: How To Create Beautiful Native LandscapesSally Wasowski and Andy WasowskiFilled with practical advice and detailed information, this indispensable guide to prairie gardening shows readers how to choose space, plan a garden, select plants and flowers, and much more.
100 Texas WildflowersDorothy Barid MattizaIdentifies 100 of the most conspicuous wildflower species native to Texas, keyed to the regions where each may be found. Photos by members of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
A Beginner’s Handbook for Rural Texas LandownersJim StanleyThe subtitle spells it out: ” How to Live in the Country Without Spoiling It.” This new book is the perfect introduction for small landowners wanting to be good stewards of their piece of the Hill Country. As the title says, it’s a place to begin and a perfect lead-in to Stanley’s earlier book (above) which contains more specifics.
A Field Guide to Common South Texas ShrubsTaylor, Richard B., Jimmy Rutledge, and Joe G. Herrera
A Field Guide to Texas TreesBenny Simpson
A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern ForestsManning, Steven T.
A Sand County Almanac with Other Essays on Conservation from Round RiverAldo Leopold
Agaves, Yuccas, and Related Plants: A Gardener’s GuideIrish, Mary and Gary
Aquatic & Wetland Plants of the Western Gulf CoastStutzenbaker, Charles D.
Aransas, A Naturalist’s GuideMcAlister & McAlister
Atlas of the Vascular Plants of TexasBillie Lee Turner, Holly Nichols, Geoffrey C. Denny, and Oded Doron
Attracting and Feeding HummingbirdsWilliamson, Sheri
Attracting Birds to Southern GardensPope, Odenwald, Fryling
Attracting Birds, Butterflies & other Backyard WildlifeMizejewski, David
Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies: the Xerces Society GuideEric Lee-Mäder
Bringing Nature HomeDouglas W. Tallamy
Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our GardensDouglas W. TallamyEveryone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity by simply choosing native plants.
Brush and Weeds of Texas RangelandsHart, Charles R., Barron S. Rector, et al
Building Inside Nature’s EnvelopeSally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski
Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification GuidePaul Williams, Robbin Thorp, Leif Richardson and Sheila Colla
Butterfly Gardening for TexasGeyata Ajilvsgi
Butterfly Gardening for the SouthGeyata Ajilvsgi
Butterflies of Houston and Southeast TexasJohn and Gloria Tveten
Cacti of Texas and Neighboring StatesDel WenigerField Guide
Central Region Seedling ID Guide for Native Prairie PlantsNRCS, US Department of AgricultureSmall spiral bound laminated field guide for identifying Native Prairie Plants of the Central Region of the US.
Butterflies through Binoculars: The WestJeffrey Glassberg
Common Texas Grasses: An Illustrated Guide (Volume 3)Frank W. Gould and Stephan L. Hatch Field Guide
Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden AlmanacDoug Welsh
Edwards Plateau VegetationBonnie B. Amos and Frederick R. Gehlbach
Explorers’ Texas: The Lands and WatersDel Weniger
A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern ForestsJames H. Miller, Erwin B. Chambliss, and Nancy J. LoewensteinThis book provides information on accurate identification of the 56 nonnative plants and groups that are currently invading the forests of the 13 Southern States, including Texas. It lists other nonnative plants of growing concern, covering trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns, and forbs.
Field Guide to Common Texas GrassesStephen L. Hatch, Kelly C. Umphres & A. Jenet Ardoin
Field Guide to Broad-leaved Herbaceous Plants of South TexasEveritt, James H., D. Lynn Drawe, Robert I. Lonard
Field Guide to Common South Texas ShrubsTaylor, Rutledge, Herrera
Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural CrisisRowan JacobsenRowan Jacobsen uses the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder to tell the bigger story of bees and their' essential connection to our daily lives.
Grasses of Southern Oklahoma and North Texas: a Pictorial GuideRussell Stevens & Chuck Coffey with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Fruitless Fall: the Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural CrisisRowan Jacobsen
Grasses of South Texas: A Guide to Identification and ValueEveritt, James H., D. Lynn Drawe, Christopher, R. Little, Robert I. Lonard
Grasses of the Texas Hill CountryBrian Loflin and Shirley LoflinThis photographic guide to grasses gives all who have been frustrated trying to identify these difficult plants an easy-to-use, visually precise, and information-packed field guide to seventy-seven native and introduced species that grow in the Texas Hill Country and beyond. With a blade of grass in hand, open this book and find: Handy thumb guides to seedhead type, the most visible distinguishing characteristic to begin identification. Color photographs of stands of grasses and detailed close-ups. Concise information about economic uses, habitat, range, and flowering season. Quick-reference icons.
Guide to Texas GrassesShaw, Robert B
Half Earth: Our Planets Fight for LifeE.O. Wilson, Liveright
Hill Country Ecology; Essays on Plants, Animals, Water, and Land ManagementJim StanleyIn this book, Dr. Stanley, a knowledgeable naturalist of Hill Country issues, addresses a wide range of topics of interest and concern to residents of the Texas Hill Country.
Hill Country Landowner’s Guide Jim StanleyIn this invaluable book, Jim Stanley charts a practical course for understanding and handling a variety of problems that both new and established landowners in the Texas Hill Country will confront—from brush control, grazing, and overpopulation of deer to erosion, fire, and management of exotic animals and plants.
How to Grow Native Plants of Texas & the SouthwestNokes, Jill, Kathryn Miller Brown
How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest, Revised & UpdatedJill NokesHow to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest has set the standard for both home and professional gardeners. In addition to the individual plant descriptions, Jill Nokes also devotes whole chapters to gathering and storing seeds, seed germination, planting, vegetative propagation, and transplanting.
Hummingbirds of TexasKlym, Mark; Shackelford, Clifford E.; Lindsay, Madge M
Identification of Milkweeds in TexasSinghurst, Jason, Ben Hutchins, and Walter C. Holmes
In a Desert Garden: Love and DFeath Among the InsectsJohn Alcock
Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden EcologyEric GrissellWith a sound basis in science and a practical grounding in gardening experience, Grissell introduces the reader to the role of insects in garden ecology.
Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American SpeciesKaufman and Kaufman
Landscape Plants for Dry RegionsWarren Jones and Charles Sacamano
Landscaping Revolution: Garden with Mother Nature, Not Against HerSally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski
Landscaping with Native Texas PlantsSally Wasowski and Julie Ryan
Landscaping with Native Plants of TexasGeorge Oxford MillerIn this comprehensive, richly illustrated guide, author George Oxford Miller provides the "how-to," "when-to," and "what-to" for gardeners, landscapers, and homeowners throughout Texas.
Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas & the SouthwestMiller, George O
Last Child in the Woods:Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit DisorderRuchard Louv
Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your YardPenick, Pam
Life on a Little Known Plant: A Biologist’s View of Insects and Their WorldHoward Ensign Evans
Manual of the Vascular Plants of TexasCorrell and Johnston
Matagorda Island, A Naturalist’s GuideMcAlister & McAlister
Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: an Earthwise Guide for Central TexasTexas AgriLife Extension, City of Austin
Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin and the Hill CountryBrother Daniel LynchField Guide
Native Host Plants for Texas Butterflies: A Field GuideJim Weber, Lynne M. Weber, Roland H. Wauer
Native Host Plants for Texas Moths: A Field Guide Jim Weber, Lynne M. Weber, Roland H. Wauer
Native Perennials for the SoutheastH. Peter Loewer
Native Plant Gardening for BeginnersHaeley GiambalvoIt is easy to do with native plants! Native Plant Gardening for Beginners is your QUICK START GUIDE to making your native plant garden a REALITY!
Native Plants in Landscaping: Trees, Shrubs, Cacti and Grasses of the Texas Desert and MountainsMichael and Shirley A. PowellThe only book on ornamental plants dedicated to the remarkably cold-hardy and arid-adapted native species of Trans-Pecos Texas. The potential of these trees, shrubs, succulents, cacti, and grasses for use in the landscape, both within and beyond the borders of their native habitats, has been only superficially tapped.
Native Texas Gardens: Maximum Beauty, Minimum UpkeepSally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski
Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region, 2nd EditionSally Wasowski and Andy WasowskiThis is one of the first gardening and landscaping guides to feature native plants. One of the first books to get after moving to Texas, for those of us who were part of the problem on arrival, and seek instead to be part of the solution.
Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard Doug Tallamy
Nature’s Best Hope (Young Readers’ Edition): A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard Doug Tallamy
A Naturalist’s Guide to theTexas Hill Country Mark Gustafsonan overview of the plants, animals, geography, geology and history of the Hill Country. Especially good for newcomers to the world of nature in the Hill Country.
Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back YardsSara SteinWhen Stein realized what her intensive efforts at making a traditional garden had done, she set out to "ungarden." Her book interweaves an account of her efforts with an explanation of the ecology of gardens.
Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and ControlMiller, James H.
North Central Texas Wildflowers: Field GuideMary Curry
Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save ThemPaige Embry
Plants of the Rio Grande DeltaRichardson
Plants of the Texas Coastal BendLehman, Roy L., Ruth O’Brien and Tammy White
Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native PlantsHeather N Holm
Prairie Time, a Blackland PortraitMatt White
Range Plants of North Central Texas: a Land User’s Guide to Their Identification, Value and ManagementLinex, Ricky J.The plants covered in this very useful new book overlap considerably with our part of the Hill Country, making this a great addition to everyone’s plant identification library. Forbs, woody plants and grasses are covered with excellent pictures of the plants and seeds. Content includes description of the plants as well as their use, value and management in the native habitat. This book is published by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Weatherford and may be purchased at many of their offices, including the one in Kerrville at 2104 Memorial Blvd. (830) 896-4911.

Rare Plants of TexasPoole, Jackie; Carr, William; Price, Dana; Singhurst, Jason
Roadside Flowers of Texas Howard S. Irwin (Author), Mary Motz Wills (Painter295 pp., 64 pages of color illustrations. Paintings by Mary Motz Wills. Includes black and white illustrations of diagrams of the parts of a plant. Includes definition of botanical terms and index.
Native Plants for Southwestern LandscapesJudy Mielke
Remarkable Plants of Texas: Uncommon Accounts of Our Common NativesMatt Warnock TurnerMatt Warnock Turner explores the little-known facts—be they archaeological, historical, material, medicinal, culinary, or cultural—behind our familiar botanical landscape.
Requiem for a LawnmowerSally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski
Shinner's and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central TexasDiggs, George M., Barney L. Lipscomb, and Robert J. O’Kennon
Southwestern and Texas WildflowersNiehaul, Ripper and Savage
Stokes Butterfly Book: The Complete Guide to Butterfly GardeningStokes, Donald & Lillian
Stokes Hummingbird Book: The Complete Guide to Hummingbird GardeningStokes, Donald & Lillian
The Weather-resilient Garden: A Defensive Approach to Planning and LandscapingCharles W. G. Smith
Texas Bug Book: The Good, the Bad, and the UglyBeck, Malcolm and Garrett, John Howard
Texas CactiTexas A&M University Press
Texas Gardening for the 21st Century: Planning, Constructing, Planting, Embellishing, and Maintaining Your LandscapeSimpson, Nan Booth, and Patricia Scott McHargue
Texas Mushrooms: A Field GuideSusan Metzler and Van MetzlerField Guide
Texas Trees: A Friendly GuidePaul W. Cox and Patty LeslieAn authoritative guide that shows the trees' relation to human and animal life -- even in the charming illustrations. Includes leaf-shape guide, range maps, and an index of popular and scientific names for over 120 trees, both native and naturalized.
Texas Wildflowers: A Field GuideLoughmiller, Campbell and LynnField Guide; 2018 edition has been completely reorganized by flower colors (and within each color section, by flowering season) to make it even easier to identify the flowers you see as you travel through Texas. Every wildflower is illustrated with a beautiful full-color photograph—over 250 of which are new to this edition.
Texas WildflowersLoughmiller, Campbell and Lynn1994 Clear and concise descriptions for more than 300 Texas Wildflowers.
Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for WildlifeNoreen Damude and Kelly Conrad BenderThis book tells you how and what to plant to provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Most important, it does so by furnishing lists of plants appropriate to the specific region of Texas you live in.
Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for WildlifeBender, Kelly ConradIdentifies the kinds of animals you can expect when you give them their three basic needs: food, water, and shelter. She then provides guidelines for designing and planting your yard or garden to best provide these requirements for the many birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates the environment will attract. This book is hard to find so keep your eyes open at garage sales and library book sales. Amazon does have an E-Textbook version available
Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for WildlifeNoreen Damude & Kelly Conrad Bender
The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's BeesJoseph S. Wilson, Olivia Messinger Carril
The Drunken BotanistAmy Stewart
The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook: For Prairies, Savannas, and WoodlandsStephen Packard (Editor), Cornelia F. Mutel (Editor)
The Ferns and Lycophytes of TexasGeorge M. Ferns of TexasDiggs, Jr. and Barney L. LipscombTexas has a surprising number of native ferns and lycophytes — 127 in all, the most of any state in the continental U.S.A. This is particularly unexpected given that most people associate ferns and related plants with humid, even tropical conditions, just the opposite of much of Texas. This book explains why and looks at the fascinating world of Texas ferns, ranging from the swamp forests of far East Texas, to the hidden canyons of the Edwards Plateau, and even to the high mountain “sky islands” of such places as Big Bend National Park. Each species has an illustration page with a color photo, a line drawing, and detailed maps. Be ready to be surprised by this special group of Texas plants!
The Garden Book Corpus Christi Area Garden Council, Inc.
The Living LandscapeDarke & Tallamy
The Low-Water Flower GardenerEric A. Johnson and Scott Millard
Trees of Central TexasVines, Robert A.
Trees, Shrubs & Cacti of South TexasEveritt, James H., D. Lynn Drawe, Robert I. Lonard
Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill CountryJan WredeThis is a field guide to more than 125 species of mostly native, mostly woody plants of the Texas Hill Country. A thoughtful introduction discusses deer, cedar, water, oak wilt, and invasive species. Plant descriptions contain information about the leaves, flowers, fruit, and bark of each plant and also give insights into the species’ range and habits. Especially useful is a comprehensive plant chart with tips about color, scent, flowering period, height, site preference, and wildlife and livestock utilization. A recommended reading list, a resource guide, and a glossary round out this information-packed book. With color photographs.
The Solitary Bees: Biology, Evolution, ConservationBryan Danforth, Robert Minckley and John Neff
Useful Wild Plants of TexasScooter Cheatham and Marshall Johnston, with Lynn Marshall
Vascular Plants of TexasCorrell & Johnston
Wanted! Mountain Cedars, Dead or Alive Elizabeth McGreevy
Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico: A Guide to IdentificationEveritt, James H., Robert I. Lonard, and Christopher R. Little
Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical AtrocitiesAmy Stewart
Wild Edible Plants of TexasCharles Kane
Wild Orchids of TexasJoe Liggio and Ann Orto Liggio
Wildflowers of the Texas Hill CountryMarshall Enquist
Wildflowers Across AmericaLady Bird Johnson and Carlton B. Lees
Wildflowers and Other Plants of Texas Beaches and IslandsRichardson, Alfred
Wildflowers of Houston & Southeast TexasTveten, John & Gloria
Wildflowers of TexasAjilvsgi, GeyataOverview of 482 species of Texas wildflowers, grouped by flower color for easy identification.
Wildflowers of TexasMichael Eason
Includes more than 1,100 commonly encountered species, both native and introduced. Organized by flower color, with helpful color coding along the page edges making it easy to navigate.
Wildflowers of the Texas Hill CountryMarshal EnquistA comprehensive guide to the flora of the Hill Country, containing detailed descriptions and color illustrations of 427 species. Broad in scope, it covers everything from the smallest meadow flowers to the largest flowering trees and shrubs.
Your Remarkable RiparianSteve Nelle & Nueces River Authority