An historical perspective of the environmental horticulture industry in Manatee county and its impact on statewide development

Frank M. Melton, Will E. Waters


Several nursery owners in Manatee County were pioneers in the nursery industry in Florida. Pliny Reasoner began the nursery industry in Florida in 1881, and became known throughout the world for the exotic plants his nursery had collected. Other pioneers grew interior plants, cut flowers, native plants, sod, and turf grass plugs. The landscape contracting and maintenance business grew fast in the 1950s and 1960s as population growth occurred. The University of Florida Research and Extension Service has grown to serve the industry from the 1950s to present. Today the landscape industry income exceeds the wholesale nursery income in Manatee County and statewide. Trends of industry being dominated by large chain stores are likely to continue.


florida landscape; foliage plants; nursery plants

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283