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Tennessee Native Plant Society
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These books are typically available at local bookstores or online, including state park gift shops, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. These three books are also available through TNPS at events throughout the state. Just look for the TNPS banner and table.

Official Field Guide: Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians

Few displays are as spectacular and breathtaking as wildflowers in full blossom! Consider the brilliant scarlet of the cardinal flower, the lemon-hues of yellow jessamine blossoms, and the showy flowers of pink lady’s slipper. Now in its third printing Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians brings alive the beauty of these flowers and others in 800 striking, full-color photographs paired with interesting and informative descriptions that feature 785 primary wildflower species and discusses over 1250 species total.

The most comprehensive field guide ever published on the flora of this region, Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians was created by members of the Tennessee Native Plant Society. This landmark achievement brings the beauty and uniqueness of wildflowers to amateurs and experts alike. The focus is on Tennessee, but the entire Ohio River Valley and Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains are covered.

Available at local bookstores and online at

Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee

The product of twenty-five years of planning, research, and writing, Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee is the most comprehensive, detailed, and up-to-date resource of its kind for the flora of the Volunteer State, home to nearly 2,900 documented taxa. Not since Augustin Gattinger’s 1901 Flora of Tennessee and a Philosophy of Botany has a work of this scope been attempted.

The team of editors, authors, and contributors not only provide keys for identifying the major groups, families, genera, species, and lesser taxa known to be native or naturalized within the state—with supporting information about distribution, frequency of occurrence, conservation status, and more—but they also offer a plethora of descriptive information about the state’s physical environment and vegetation, along with a summary of its rich botanical history, dating back to the earliest Native American inhabitants.

Available at bookstores and online at Barnes and Noble and UT Press.

Woody Plants of Kentucky and Tennessee

Woody Plants: The Complete Winter Guide to Their Identification and Use by Ronald L. Jones and B. Eugene Wofford serves as an excellent guide to the identification and uses of 172 genera and 457 species of woody plants (trees, shrubs, and vines) in their winter condition. The color photographs provide detailed views of twig features such as buds, scars, pith, armature, as well as images of leaves and fruits as they might appear in the winter.

Included in the book are dichotomous keys to the species, together with information on the Latin meanings of the names, genus descriptions, common names, habitats, distributions, conservation status, wetland status, and invasiveness categories. In addition, much information is provided on the uses of the plants in winter, such as which species can be utilized for food, medicine, fiber, and weapons.

Available at bookstores and online at Barnes and Noble.

Native Plants of Tennessee: A Book of Lists

Native Plants of Tennessee: A Book of Lists was written and produced by Suzanne Irwin Askew and the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. It’s a handy book for determining what plants to plant and where to plant them. If you are selecting a shrub that would be good for butterflies, then go to the Shrub Chapter, then the list Good for Butterflies. If you need a fall blooming wildflower, then go to the Wildflower Chapter and look for the list Bloom in Fall. If your children/grandchildren are fascinated by frogs, then you might check out the Natives for Children Chapter with a list Ferns for Toads and Frogs. You may be surprised with who takes up residence among your plants.

The Book of Lists also includes a Glossary and plants are indexed according to botanical and common names.

This publication is now available for FREE download. Enjoy!

Other Recommended Books


Guide to the Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Tennessee

Written by B. Eugene Wofford and Edward W. Chester and published by the University of Tennessee Press this book contains an Introduction that describes the geologic parameters for Tennessee plants, several keys, and photos of leaves and twigs.

The Southeast Native Plant Primer

Written by Larry Mellichamp and Paula Gross, the Native Plant Primer features photos and descriptions of 225 plants “for an earth-friendly garden.” Published by Timber Press.

Field Guide to the Lichens of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Containing information and range maps for many lichens found in the eastern half of the U.S., this comprehensive book was written by Erin A. Tripp and James C. Lendemer and published by the University of Tennessee Press.

Gardening with the Native Plants of Tennessee

Written by TNPS member Margie Hunter, this book is all about gardening with our native plants. The book is broken into sections for suggested wildflowers, ferns, grasses/sedges/rushes, vines, shrubs, and trees that fit into a yard. Published by the University of Tennessee Press.

Nature’s Best Hope

Douglas W. Tallamy has written a book that offers a new approach to conservation, one that introduces us to the need for Homegrown National Park. The importance of native insects and their dependence on native plants is stressed. An empowering publication, this follows his best selling book, Bringing Nature Home. Published by Timber Press.

The Nature of Oaks

This book describes the rich ecology of our most essential native trees–oaks. Douglas W. Tallamy follows the life of an oak tree throughout one calendar year, offering insights and lots of researched information. Available through Timber Press.


These books are available through bookstores and Amazon.