Books By Gil Nelson   

This handbook, which can be used independently or as a companion to The Trees of Florida and Shrubs and Woody Vines of Florida, makes it possible to easily identify all of Florida's native and naturalized woody plants by combination of leaf shape, color, size, flower, etc. The text is formatted as a traditional botanical key, offering a series of either/or decisions leading to the precise identification of a plant in hand. Designed primarily for field use and targeted to both amateurs and professionals, the keys are clear, concise, and non-technical and rely on conspicuous and easily seen features with emphasis on characteristics that are observable year-round. Released in 2011, this book is the only botanical key devoted specifically to Florida's woody plants.
Publisher: Pineapple Press.

The 2nd Edition of The Trees of Florida: A Reference and Field Guide is completely revised, updated, and enlarged to include all of Florida's known native and naturalized trees. The new volume includes more than 528 species--up from 346 in the 1st edition--including 317 natives, 200 non-natives, and 11 species that occur nowhere else in the world. The book is illustrated with 610 color photos (nearly four times as many as in the 1st edition) and 420 line drawings (up by 60% from the 1st edition). This new edition uses updated nomenclature and taxonomic arrangements, notes each species nativity or origin, whether it is threatened, endangered, or invasive, and offers a complete description. The introduction includes a key to families, genera, and many species. Released in January 2011, this book remains the most complete treatment of Florida's trees.
Publisher: Pineapple Press.

'Filled to the brim with important information on native plants and is a must for any serious gardener in the southeastern region of the country.'-Ginny Stibolt, author of Sustainable Gardening for Florida
'Here is an authoritative, fact-filled guide for growing southeastern native plants from the author who wrote the field guides for identifying our native plants. His experience and knowledge will help us all become better native plant gardeners.'-Steven P. Christman, editor,

Released summer 2010, Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens highlights and illustrates several hundred readily available and easy-to-grow native species for gardeners and landscapers living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. These plants include shrubs, small and large trees, and a collection of perennials, all of which have proven to be extremely successful landscape plants in the southeastern United States. The average homeowner will be able to find many of these species in local retail nurseries whether or not these nurseries specialize in native plants. Gil Nelson has created an indispensable, authoritative publication that describes and recommends high-performing native plants, tells readers how to avoid the use of invasive species in their gardens, and highlights the design of several specialty and wildlife gardens. The included species have been selected based on discussions with landscape and gardening enthusiasts and professionals; personal knowledge and experience; and field visits to retail nurseries, wholesale nurseries, and private and public gardens and arboreta throughout the southeast. Divided into three main parts, this book contains chapters covering theme gardening, invasive species, challenge plants, hollies, native azaleas, magnolias, blueberries, native roses, and vines, groundcovers, and spring ephemerals, concluding with a catalog of one hundred 'good doers.'
The inclusion of more than 600 color photos makes this an easy-to-use, valuable addition to any gardener's library.
Publisher: University Press of Florida

Released in June 2006 as a companion volume to East Gulf Coastal Plain Wildflowers, Atlantic Coastal Plain Wildflowers includes more than 300 species that range from Virginia to Florida. Together, these two volumes offer descriptions, illustrations, and information about more than 500 wildflowers of the Southeastern Coastal Plains. Botanists, naturalists, and wildflower enthusiasts alike are drawn to the savannas, pinelands, and hardwood forests of the Atlantic Coastal Plain for its stunning array of flowering plants and for its extended blooming season. Atlantic Coastal Plain Wildflowers serves as a guide to the botanical treasures that can be found in this fascinating landscape. Perfect for both novice and professional, this valuable reference will enhance any visitor's next journey into the Atlantic Coastal Plain. This easy-to-use guide features: detailed descriptions and color photos of more than 300 plants, an introduction to the area's habitats and ecology, a tough, water-resistant cover and extradurable binding, made to withstand field use, a glossary of botanical terms, and a primer on plant characteristics.
Publisher: GlobePequot (Falcon)

East Gulf Coastal Plain Wildflowers, released in June 2005, is one of a series of new Falcon Guides designed to provide much of the United States with ecoregion-specific wildflower guides. This book includes 300 species, all illustrated with high quality color photographs. Complete field descriptions include tips for easy identification, as well as information about distribution and blooming season. Each account also includes a comment section with additional lore that highlights such important information as the derivation of the species' common or scientific name, its cultural and medicinal uses, or other interesting facts. The book focuses on the East Gulf Coastal Plain, a region that includes southwest Georgia (north to about Columbus), the Florida panhandle, southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and eastern Louisiana. Although many of the included species are common throughout the region, about 20% of the book includes rare, endemic, or often overlooked species. Special attention has also been given to including species for which good photographs are not available.
Publisher: GlobePequot (Falcon)

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This book was written in partnership with the Association of Florida Native Nurseries and includes detailed information about 200 of Florida's most available, popular, and easy-to-cultivate native landscape plants. Two hundred species are included, all of which are illustrated with exquisite watercolor paintings and/or color photographs. Helpful and detailed accounts for each species cover such topics as native range, water and soil requirements, salt tolerance, culture, best features, and companion plants.
Publisher: University Press of Florida.

These two books constitute the first comprehensive guides to Florida's indigenous and naturalized woody plants. Together they include approximately 750 species, most of which are illustrated with color photographs and/or line drawings. Trees of Florida begins with 30 chapters of detailed information about Florida's woody plant families. Both books incorporate a complete treatment of each species' form, habitat, and major morphological features, complemented by the species' most important field identification features.
Publisher: Pineapple Press.

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Published in 2000, this guide constituted the first major update in 25 years to Long and Lakela's now out-of-print 1975 Ferns of Florida. The book catalogs and illustrates all of Florida's native and naturalized fern species. Color plates feature more than 200 images, some of which include rare species never before illustrated in color. Rare and hard-to-find species such as some of our spleenworts and filmy ferns are included, as well as common species like the cinnamon fern pictured on the front cover. The book also includes a complete glossary, a discussion of fern morphlogy and life cycle, a history of fern study in Florida, a discussion of some of the state's best natural ferneries, and an extensive bibliography.
Publisher: Pineapple Press.

Hikers, campers, birders, botanists, and other amateur naturalists who enjoy outdoor recreation in northern Florida will want both of these books in their backpacks. Together, these guides offer detailed information about parks, forests, and private preserves from the western tip of the panhandle easrward to the Atlantic coast, and south to Ocala (including the Ocala National Forest). Both guides offer concise explanations of north Florida's regional geology and ecology, as well as its natural communities. Detailed accounts of each region's public and private parks and preserves highlight the most important recreational destinations, as well as representative plants and animals that can be found there.
Publisher: Pineapple Press.
National Audubon Society field guides have long been popular field companions for amateur and professional naturalists, alike. These two regional guides, one to Florida and the other to the remaining southeasetern states, include descriptions and color photographs of the more important birds and animals that inhabit these regions, as well descriptions of the most important examples of preserved public and private lands.
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (Random House).