Answer: Finding good reference books written for southern gardening can be a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, there are several books which give the type of information you mention. Most are specific to a group of plants such as vegetables, herbs, fruit, perennials, roses, turf, etc.
If you are looking for a single reference for the south I think a good place to start is: "Identification Selection and Use of Southern Plants for Landscape Design", 3rd Edition, by Neil Odenwald and James Turner, and published by Claitor's Publishing Division, Baton Rouge, LA; 800-274-1403; http:www.claitors.com
This reference includes many types of ornamental plants and best of all makes many remarks about each plant's strong and weak points (something I wish more books did!).
If you are looking for a reference for a specific type of plant (such as those I listed above), please submit another question specifying what type(s) you are interested in.
Here is a web site you might find helpful: http://pathfinder.com/cgi-bin/VG/vg?03
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