Native Plants

I'm restoring my garden with many native plants. After doing some research for recommendations and suggestions, I thought I would share some of my favorite sources with you all. In addition, there are links at the bottom of the page for large woodland and prairie restoration efforts which may be of interest. 

This is also a convenient way for me to keep my links organized for my own use! If you have a great resource please let me know and I can check it out and perhaps post it.

What native plants should I put in my garden? Consider checking some of these on-line resources to help with you search:

Shasta Daisy 

  • UT-Austin, with Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Illinois Plant recommendations. This place is great to visit and focused on wildflower cultivation and practices.  The search parameters here are great to help get mix of heights, water, bloom time etc. 
  • Illinois' Best Plants - a search engine provided by the Chicago Botanic Garden and Library service. Fun icons and easy to use. Select by type of plant, bloom, time, height - select the advanced search and select "native"
  • Wisconsin Weed Identification - complete a survey with plant characteristics and identify what weed (or native plant :) ) might be in your garden. Be sure to select the state of Wisconsin - NOT Illinois. As of 10/2013 Illinois had no plants loaded in the database.
  • Illinois Wildflower listing - select the type of environment you have, answer a few questions about the type of plant, get a listing of items that match your criteria
  • Pollinator Partnership - has good planting guides specific to eco-regional parts of the United States highlighting flowering season and specific pollinators
  • Invasive Plant listing: This site has an extensive list of plants that are considered invasive. I was surprised by some of the listings. It's not so easy to navigate, but good info. 

Where can I buy native plants?  Once you have an idea of what you want - here are some local places to grab plants. I admit I'm a big fan of CL and getting plants by division or free; however, for native plants often that is not possible. Good resource to search for native plant seed and nurseries

  • National Nursery and Seed Directory - select your state, type of nursery and get a listing. This is a complete list of registered vendors so it's great overall. Tough to find "Native" suppliers unless they call it out themselves. I use this when I travel to adjoining states, yes, seriously. 
  • My favorite local spot in Illinois, Possibility Place Nursery, Monee (Appointments required) 
  • Plugs from :  Agrecol  in Wisconsin.  Individual species are sold in sets of six plugs, mix trays of thirty-two. I love the custom vegetative mats (well the thought of it, not so  much that I think it's in my budget!)
  • Local field grown native plants and heritage vegetables at Heritage Flower Farm in Wisconsin. 
  • Starter kits of wildflowers for birds, butterflies, water gardens, and small urban settings. seeds and plugs too. Ion Exchange Native Wildflowers and Prairie Plants in Iowa.  Check out the The Natural Gait cabins and vacation options.
  • Seeds: Wild Flower Farm (mail order)
  • Seed Mixes: Cardo JF New - offers pre-mix of seeds. I haven't ordered them, but they are on my radar as I complete my Woodland Restoration. The minimum order size is large.
  • How about a landscaper to help you restore your prairie? Check out Tall grass
What are some native plant restoration efforts going on around the world?  Here are parks, communities, bloggers I like to check in on. Some are prairie and others are woodland projects. All very interesting.


Teresa Marie

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