University of Texas Press
Grasses, Pods, Vines, Weeds by Quentin Steitz Summary
Purple three-awn. Tree of heaven. Alamo vine. Narrowleaf cattail. These exotic and fanciful names conjure up visions of lush foliage, colorful grasses, and dense plant life. They are, in fact, names of native and naturalized Texas plants—grasses, pods, vines, and weeds. Lovely and all-too-often overlooked in nature, they become ornamental delights when used imaginatively and decoratively. Grasses, Pods, Vines, Weeds introduces 44 of Texas' most common and important naturals. Quentin Steitz shows how to recognize them and discover their aesthetic wealth. By taking the reader through all of the steps involved in utilizing naturals—from harvest to design—her book becomes an important tool for floral and landscape designers, decorators, horticulturalists, home gardeners, botanists: all those people who enjoy hands-on experience with Texas' vast array of native and naturalized plants. The book presents clear and concise descriptions of many Texas naturals, accompanied by approximately 150 full-color photographs showing each in one or more stages of growth and also in a design. The reader can see the plant as it looks not only in the wild but also in an arrangement. The author offers techniques on how the species can be prepared for display, discussing drying and arranging. And a chapter on cultivation and conservation suggests to outdoor enthusiasts species they can grow for decorative natural materials as well as conserve and appreciate in the wild. Grasses, Pods, Vines,Weeds is enhanced by flora selected, collected, prepared, and dried by the author. These hand-culled materials have been used in designs contributed by some nineteen notable floral designers as well as the author. The text and designs combine to reveal the fresh, creative applications of Texas' decorative naturals and to increase our pleasure in the wonders of natural Texas.