Bookstore featured image

Book Reviews

As a part of our commitment to education, the South Carolina Native Plant Society maintains a list of recommended books which are packed with useful and interesting information. These books are available for purchase through our online store hosted by The Compleat Naturalist in Asheville, NC. We have decided to work with The Compleat Naturalist Natural History Store because they share our commitment to science education and conservation.

SCNPS members will receive a 10% discount on their purchases. Orders may be placed online, by phone, or of course in the Asheville store. Please feel free to give them a call at 1-800-678-5430 if you have any questions.

**To receive your 10% discount, please enter the code “SCNPS” in the discount box at checkout.

Compleat Naturalist LogoPlease visit the online SCNPS STORE by clicking on the image at left or by following this link:
Thank you for supporting the mission of SCNPS!




Dr. E.O.Wilson:  Thinker, Visionary, and Author
Dr. E.O. Wilson, one of the most brilliant and inspiring minds of our time, offers his keen insights in dozens of essays and books including:

Anthill: A Novel (Fiction 2010)

Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize, Anthill follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, enthralled with the “strange, beautiful, and elegant” world of his native Nokobee County. But as developers begin to threaten the endangered marshlands around which he lives, the book’s hero decides to take decisive action. Edward O. Wilson―the world’s greatest living biologist―elegantly balances glimpses of science with the gripping saga of a boy determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself.





Half-Earth (2016)

Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date.



The Well-Tended Perennial Garden (July 2021)

One of the greatest challenges to aspiring new gardeners is learning the life-cycle of the plants, the ‘when, where and how’ of maintaining them.  We recently received this recommendation from Amy Henderson, one of our member that’s also a garden designer here in the Upstate.

“Folks might be interested in a book called “The Well-Tended Perennial Garden” by Tracy DiSabato-Aust.    Disclaimer, it’s by a horticulturalist / designer in midwest; she’s mainly working on in-ground gardens, and discusses plants both native and not.  Her recommendations are about how to maintain gardens to look good and be healthy… Some of her content is about deadheading, etc, obviously not applicable to gardening for wildlife, however, she describes extremely well how to use pruning / cutting back / thinning to control height, shape, and flowering time.  She also discusses useful general concepts (for example, why the amount of delay in flowering is not directly related to the timing of the pruning, but includes other factors).  The book includes A-Z listing of plants, including many of our natives, with genus- and species-specific info (some cultivar-specific info).”

This book is available in the Greenville Library system if you want to check it out and it’s very affordable at Amazon and other book sellers.

Caterpillars of Eastern North America

by David Wagner

An illustrated guide of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi.  Full-page accounts cover almost 400 species, including up to six images per species plus information on distribution, seasonal activity, behavior, foodplants, and life history.  Dozens of new foodplant records are presented and erroneous records are corrected.

Florida Butterfly Caterpillars and Their Host Plants

by Marc Minno, Jerry Butler, and Donals Hall

This book will become the classic guide to southern butterfly caterpillars and their host plants.  With hundreds of color photographs and concise information in a format that can easily be carried into the field


A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina


If you’re in the market for a resource that helps sort through our incredibly diverse native plants to find those ‘right plants’ for your own ‘Living Landscape’ then this beautiful body of work by Richard Porcher and Douglas Rayner will be of interest. This 551-page full color guide includes extensive descriptions of more than 680 species and is worthy of any botanical scholars’ library.  For the rest of us gardeners, 115 pages of those pages and 287 incredibly rich full-color images are dedicated to the plant communities of our own Piedmont & Mountain regions encompassing our own Upstate ecosystem. Not enough to plunk down $35 bucks?  Well, there’s another 27 pages of notes on field trips within our 10 county Upstate featuring hikes where you canexperience these plants in their natural settings.


Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge

Pam Shucker and Bill Robertson will present our online program in October on their recently published book “Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge”.  Bill Robertson is a professional nature photographer whose works appear in many businesses of the upstate and quite a few homes as well.   Pam’s writing tells of how nature is so healing to the body and uplifting to the spirit.  Not only will you enjoy reading through this book, but also you will come back to it many times as a reference and as a refresher.

Pam and Bill are both members of the Upstate Chapter of the SCNPS and also worked with our Upstate board member Janie Marlow who designed the book, and will present their new book at the Upstate Chapter’s ‘virtual’ meeting planned for October 20th.

Here are some reviews on their new book:

“With Round About Greenville and the Carolina Blue Ridge Pam and Bill have distilled why so many of us love the Upstate area and are proud to call this place our home.  The photographs are superb, the writing is thoughtful, and the resulting impression of our area confirms its reputation as the crown jewel of South Carolina.”
-Jonathan Welsh, Owner, Appalachian Outfitters SC Inc.

Color Your World with Natives

One of the guiding goals of the SCNPS is informing our communities about native plants.  About the importance, yes, but also about which plants are ‘native’, meaning they co-evolved with the wildlife here, which are vital to supporting our wildlife in our habitat.   Two great examples are published by Dover and available through our book partner The Complete Naturalist in Asheville, as well as Amazon.  Coloring is a great educational pastime for children, and an opportunity to build awareness. The links to purchase are included below.

Print these coloring book pages:


Buy the books:

Link: Backyard Nature Coloring Book
Link: American Coloring Book