In addition to household belongings, tools and clothing, the first settlers in the American colonies also brought with them seeds, bulbs, and cuttings of their favorite plants. These, along with native flora and botanical specimens imported later from other parts of the world, comprised the decorative plants grown in colonial gardens. This charming and informative volume focuses on 160 trees, shrubs and flowers that are the principal ornamental species planted in the restored gardens of Colonial Williamsburg, where landscape architect have attempted to faithfully recreate typical nineteenth-century gardens. Described here are such native species as the redbud, Carolina allspice and jessamine, dogwood, stewartia and the silver-bell tree — as well as foreign imports: tulips, cabbage roses and box for ornamental hedges, the paper mulberry from Japan, the ailanthus from the Moluccas, the "African" marigold from Mexico and many more. For each plant, the author has supplied a concise, informative description, with facts and anecdotes about the plant's uses and characteristics, its popular and scientific names, and a detailed, accurate line drawing. Meticulously researched and painstakingly prepared, the book will delight gardeners, horticulturists, flower lovers, and anyone interested in the botanical lore of the early American colonies.