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Miri’s Favorites – Dirr’s Woody Plant Reference Books

Here’s a few more of my favorite books for Woody Plant References. The “holy trinity” of Dirr’s woody plant references, these three books include just about everything you need or want to know about trees, shrubs and vines for your garden.

  • Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia
  • Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propogation and Uses
  • Dirr’s Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates: An Illustrated Encyclopedia


The Manual is a textbook with information on how to identify, grow and propagate, and includes descriptions of thousands of cultivars; the other two have plenty of photographs to accompany the listings. The Hardy Trees and Shrubs book is more well-known for plants hardy to the Maryland area, but the Warm Climates book include over 40 genera that also do well here and are planted regularly. For every plant I write about, and every one I think of growing, I read up on it in a Dirr book first.

By Miri Talabac, Woody Plant Buyer

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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