Plants with Purpose

Twenty-Five Ecosystem Multitaskers

978-1-64843-244-6 Flexbound (with Flaps)
6 x 9 x 0 in
320 pp. 145 color photos. 24 illustrations. 1 map. Glossary. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 03/11/2025
Prepublication - Pre-Order Now


  • Flexbound $35.00

Many gardeners in the southwest are perfectly satisfied with beautiful, ornamental plants and cultivate lush lawns despite the environmental consequences of doing so. Other gardeners, however, have moved to embrace pollinator plants that provide resources to bees and butterflies. And some have embraced the xeriscape approach, which uses indigenous plant life to minimize the need for water. But this is just the beginning.

Plants with Purpose speaks to gardeners who are mindful of the environmental impact of traditional ornamental plants and offers twenty-five alternative plantings that are beautiful, viable, and functional. Whether edible, therapeutic, medicinal, or attractive to pollinators, the plants in this collection provide a pathway to a more environmentally sustainable and functional garden and landscape. From agarita (for jelly and tarts) to wild garlic (edible greens), this selection of plants is curated specifically for warm climates and are beneficial to the larger ecosystem.

In addition to history and description, each plant entry provides basic information and care tips such as plant type, light/water/soil needs, size, bloom and time, fruit, and availability. Many entries contain recipes, tea ideas, and herbal remedies. This “secret life of plants” provides a counternarrative to the standard texts on gardening and landscaping.

Illustrated throughout with 200 beautiful color photographs of plants in their various stages of development and showcasing their multiple applications, Plants with Purpose will encourage readers to experiment with their gardening for a deeper engagement with plant life and the environment.

Gideon Lincecum Nature and Environment Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press