The nursery-catalogues of the Eastern, Southern, and West coast States give lists of the leading trees, shrubs, and flowers, with brief descriptions, but the planter is given no instruction, as a rule, in the important work of adapting varieties and species to a given soil and climate. To a great extent this is true also of our works on landscape gardening. Planters in the prairie States have had no guide except in the horticultural reports and the fugitive notes in the agricultural press.
In this chapter only the leading varieties and species will be noted that do well over large areas of the country and on varied soils, adding a few specially desirable ones that are less cosmopolitan.
In many cases the same species differs in hardiness as obtained in different parts of the Union. As well-known examples, Picea pungens from the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains will not survive the climate found east of that range; the box elder and sugar maple of the Eastern States will not live long west of the Great Lakes. Indeed this varied hardiness of given species applies so generally, that it is always safest to plant local types of all species, or those from similar climates.