By Leonard E. Foote
This identity consultant provides plant descriptions for 550 species and seventy nine plant households, with keys and pictures.
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Additional resources for Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southeast: Landscaping Uses and Identification
Perhaps the single most important item in determining "what is a leaf" is to consider the position of leaves in respect to the axillary buds. A leaf will have an axillary bud where it joins the stem. Leaflets of a compound leaf will not have axillary buds at their base. Vines may be specialized for climbing either by the twining of stems or the modification of stems, stipules, or reduced leaflets into tendrils sometimes tipped by disks. Other vines climb by aerial roots. The diagrams below illustrate various vegetative characteristics.
Constantly decreasing through habitat destruction, many native species now are making a last stand in the face of extermination. If some are to be saved, it must be through prompt action of horticulturists, botanists, and gardeners. We must learn how to propagate and grow all of the jeopardized species. By growing these plants, nurserymen and gardeners can become involved in conservation and enjoy the beauty of our native species, as well as having the satisfaction of perpetuating them. At one point, the native flora was best left untouched, but with increasing encroachment of highways, housing and commercial developments, and changing forest practices, some of our species will survive only in garden environments.
Plants from the bayheads or swamps of the Coastal Plain, woods of the Piedmont, or balds of the southern Appalachians can not necessarily be expected to grow equally well together. " This is a good hint that such species are going to be difficult to place in a suitable site. Do not use plants that require pampering; if their requirements suggest they are difficult, discard the idea of using them. There are plenty of other species worthy of consideration. On the other hand, if a demanding species is especially appealing to you, you might find it worthwhile to give it those special conditions.