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Armitage's Native Plants for North American Gardens

By Allan M. Armitage

Along with Armitage's other books, this is an essential source for the gardener.

Newark Star-Ledger

The popularity of native North American plants has soared in recent years, for many good reasons. Whatever draws you to native plants, you'll find no better or more authoritative guide than Allan Armitage. Widely acknowledged as one of the world's foremost horticulturists, Armitage describes more than 630 species and cultivars of perennials, biennials, and annuals that are native to the United States, bringing to each plant a wealth of practical knowledge and the full weight of his experience and expertise. Each entry includes a general description of the plant plus essential data you need to grow it successfully, including habitat, hardiness, correct garden site, maintenance, and propagation — all in a clear, easy-to-use format. Whether you are a native plant enthusiast or simply wish to use plants that work in the landscape, you'll find everything you are looking for in this readable, information-packed volume.

Media reviews

"If you love the beauty of North American plants, and wish to learn more about how to grow them, this book is sure to please."

—C. Colston Burrell, American Gardener

"There is no question that Allan Armitage, professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, is the reigning expert on herbaceous plants. ... Along with Armitage's other books, this is an essential source for the gardener."

—John Van de Water, Newark Star-Ledger

"Horticulturist Armitage provides gardeners with a useful sourcebook listing hundreds of native plants available in the retail marketplace. ... the book's informative plant entries reach beyond comprehensive descriptions of native species to recommended choice cultivars. Armitage's frankly opinionated, consistently lively writing is illuminating."

—Alice Joyce, Booklist

"Packed full of useful information, while remaining enjoyable and easy-to-read."

—Marissa Oppel, Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas

"Armitage ... knows his plants and focuses on plants from a gardener's point of view. This is an important resource for gardeners who want to cultivate native plants."

—Jack Kerrigan, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A beautifully produced book with exquisite photographs which bring out the stunning beauty of a great number of plants native to North America. Mr. Armitage includes a great deal of useful information, starting with lively and, at times, quirkily opinionated descriptions of the straight species of each plant. This is truly an excellent reference book."

—Doree Huneven, Washington Gardener

"Allan Armitage has written primarily for gardeners 'who would love to try some native plants but don't know where to start.' He should consider that goal reached with flying colors."

—Chris Martine, Plant Science Bulletin

"Consider this book a celebration of native herbaceous plants that may serve to bridge the gap between native plant nerds and the general gardening public."

—Jim Borland, Native Plants

"A reference par excellence."

—Judy Lowe, Christian Science Monitor

"An excellent resource for the actual species you may want to choose from in creating your native or mixed garden."

—Dan Kunkel, Wildlife Activist

"This book is a delight to read. I have never heard the author speak in person, but he must be very entertaining for his writing is so. His material is intelligent, knowledgeable and yet humourous also. ... The text is modern and fresh, with references to current issues, researching via the Web, and upcoming programs for marketing native plants nationwide."

—Ellen Honeycutt, Georgia Native Plant Society Reading List

"Armitage has produced a handsome and engaging book. ... A good guide to plants that are both garden-worthy and available through the legitimate nursery trade — a nice distinction, since many books on native plants leave you lusting for plants you cannot have."

—Pat Thompson, Friends School of Minnesota

"In encyclopedic fashion, Armitage critiques each species and its hybrids, embellishing the information with personal accounts of his experiences with these plants. Within the listings of this very complete volume, Armitage offers plant-care practices, flowering characteristics, site selection and preparation, hardiness, ornamental characteristics, regions where plants perform best and much more."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post

"[This] book is typical Armitage — full of chatty, strongly opinionated, and deeply knowledgeble discussions of both straight species and cultivars."

—Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune

"An essential reference book for nursery people and horticulturalists, home gardeners, and all libraries."

—Nancy Myers, Library Journal

"A must-have reference guide for any novice gardener interested in using plants that are beautiful and adaptable in our climate."

—Linda Cobb, Herald-Journal

"Splendid is the word for this book."

—Diane M. Calabrese, American Reference Books Annual

"In [this book], the world's foremost horticulturist Allan Armitage describes more then 600 species and cultivars of perennials, biennials and annuals that are native to North America. ... The best news is it's a fun and easy read. This book also belongs on the coffee table so guests, non-gardeners and gardeners alike can take a fascinating tour of North America's contribution to the gardens of the world."

—Nancy Szerlag, Detroit News

"About the same size as your high school American history text, this natural history lists plants that have grown in North America since before American history began ... a well-balanced combination of cultivation information, propogation, habitat preferences, color photographs and etymology is presented."

—Susan Smith-Durisek, Lexington Herald-Leader

"A plant geek's dream, thorough and complete with facts, folklore, and little known tidbits."

—Natalie Walsh, Schenectady Daily Gazette

"As with Allan's other books, his conversational style of writing is so accessible and easy to read that you absorb knowledge without effort. I also appreciate his honesty about the ease or difficulty of cultivating specific plants."

—Mary Tucker, Georgia Native Plant Society Reading List

"Discusse[s] several issues that I see rarely in books of this kind, such as the issues of native plant cultivars, 'good' or 'bad' native plants, and marketing issues. I welcome the author's inclusion of these subjects."

—Alan Yen, Douglasia

"What Armitage's book offers is food for thought when deciding on a plant."

—Jean Starr, Northwest Indiana Times

"This book is great. Thank you Allan. ... The book covers some of the 'best of the best' natives currently available for landscape use. A 'worthy' book in my assessment."


"We've previously reviewed several books by Dr. Allan Armitage, professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, Athens, and this one, like the others, is energized by a breezy, anecdotal, tell-all style, vastly informed by his extensive observations. ... In a word, what his descriptions and recommendations reflect is a tremendous storehouse of personal, first-hand experience that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. ... You might very well find yourself reading this book for sheer enjoyment."


About the author

Allan M. Armitage

Regarded as one of the world's foremost horticulturists, Allan M. Armitage travels as a lecturer and consultant. Charming and lively as well as knowledgeable, Allan is in constant demand as a speaker, and sees working with plants as therapeutic, exciting, and creative.

Read more about Allan M. Armitage

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