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Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines Paperback – November 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Boning is a naturalist, illustrator, and attorney, who has authored numerous books for the national education market. He has resided in north, central, and south Florida and is familiar with plants that succeed in each region. Within his own garden he has cultivated and tested nearly all of the species profiled in this book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Pineapple Press (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561643726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561643721
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Terence H. Wolfley on January 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been using an older, standard book on tropical and sub-tropical fruit for reference when writing my weekly garden article. This book has only black-white photographs, and only covers a small number of tropical fruits. I was so pleased to find a new, up-to-date book, with color photography, and descriptions of many more varieties of fruit. Charles Boning's new book will be a classic, tropical and sub-tropical fruit reference book for many years to come. I liked it so much that I purchased an extra copy for my Master Gardener Reference Library!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Ann Blevins on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a visually stunning and imminently usable reference book. The author presents some eighty varieties of fruit that grow well in Florida. Most varieties are presented in two-page spreads which include all the basic information one would need (other than an actual taste test) to decide what fruit to include in plans for dooryard gardens, including but not limited to: a full-color illustration of the fruit and how it grows on the plant (most grow on trees); a calendar bar depicting when the fruit is ready to harvest, a map showing where in Florida the fruit will grow (dark green for where it should grow well, light green for where it may grow although conditions are not optimal, and yellow in borderline areas); a silhouette depicting the tree or plant with a scale to indicate the mature size; known hazards (e.g. spines, thorns, pollen, toxic seeds, and so on); soil types and conditions, and much more. There are also many photographs and illustrations showing the fruit cut open.

Of the varieties of fruit presented, I found a total of forty possibilities for growing on my property (central west coast of Florida, on the Nature Coast): thirteen in the dark green area, thirteen in the light green area, and fourteen in the yellow area.

Those totally committed to growing only Florida native plants may be bothered to find fruit like loquat (Japanese plum) presented in this book as it is sometimes considered invasive or a threat to become invasive. Any time a non-native species is planted, there is a risk of its seeds being carried into the wild, including by birds and wildlife. There are advantages to growing plants, including fruit, native to an area; in Florida, the list of native fruit that grows well might be a short list.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have collected Florida gardening books for nearly 30 years. Glancing over my bookshelf I see so many titles that came and went with scarcely any notice. This one, however, this is a keeper! It is excellent in every respect from the variety of fruits described to the descriptions and handy quick-glance sidebars. I highly recommenced it to all Florida gardeners interested in growing common or uncommon fruit.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By AmazonJavaJunki TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I had found this book years ago..it would have literally saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars for both our own home and landscaping rental properties. I love fruit trees but Florida can be tricky when it comes to plants...a few miles up the road and something will grow perfectly while other plants will die. Sun, humidity and frost conditions all converge to create a unique environment where some thrive and others survive within miles of one another.

Having lived in various parts of Florida, it's not always easy to distinguish which plants will work in any given area - for example, some forms of avacado will thrive as far north as Gainesville while some forms of citrus (despite seemingly having a farther reach) have a more limited area than might be expected. Unfortunately, nursery and plant sales tend to push plants that won't always survive after the first sign of frost or during those super high humidity days...and even if they work on one side of the county it might not hold true for other areas.

As a person who loves fruit trees, shrubs and other edible plants this is a GREAT book. Includes a drawing and photo for each plant. Height, location, description, alternatives/close family members of the species, where to locate and care instructions. An instant favorite and must have for any Floridian searching for those unusual fruits or simply which will work best in their own area!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By George Sabga Jr. on March 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an avid rare and tropical fruit enthusiast and have a garden full of the best of the best and am always looking to plant more. In a very concise manner, it lays out the 'need to know' information on the plant such as:

how tall it will be at full size
which is the best cultivar (variety) of the fruit that will do the best in south Florida and produce the best results
detailed description of the tree and the fruit
where in Florida it will grow the best
potential pests
relatives
full color pictures and drawings

The only thing that kept the book from earning a well deserved 5 star rating is that it is lacking if the plant needs sun or shade. It is fairly detailed on all other manners of care such as watering requirements, soil types, and possible pests that can damage the tree. It is also missing a handful of exotics like the Miracle Fruit, Akee, Cacao, and Malay Apple. That being said, this book contains fruit that even I have never heard of before and is an excellent reference tool and is a must have for anyone who loves exotic fruit.

This book was recommended to me by my good friends at Excalibur Fruit Trees in Lake Worth and if you love rare fruit and live within 2 hours, their place is my disney world. Well worth the trip but bring a truck or SUV because you WILL leave with something you've never heard of before.
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