Promoting the Use of Native Plant Species in the Home Landscape

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Why Going Native Is Good For Nature And You!

Use Michigan Native Plants To:

  • Support entire communities of life by providing food and shelter for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and all wildlife. A native plant is a bird feeder you don’t have to fill.
  • Preserve the natural diversity in the landscape.
  • Create wildlife corridors by connecting one native planting to the next.
  • Thrive in local soil types and weather conditions.
  • Reduce runoff and erosion by efficiently soaking up rainwater with their deep roots.
  • Minimize or eliminate the need for irrigation after establishment.
  • Provide natural mosquito repellent. Dragonflies and other invertebrate predators will flock to your yard in search of a meal.
  • Offer natural resistance to many diseases and pests.
  • Provide a dynamic show year-round due to the variety of their flowers, shapes, colors, and textures.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn. Stop mowing and relax.

What Are Michigan Native Plants?

Herbarium University of Michigan
This is a searchable and browsable site with basic information on all vascular plants known to occur outside of cultivation in Michigan.

Michigan Natural Features Inventory
There is a wealth of plant inventory information and data on this website!

Vegetation circa 1800 map:
Michigan’s Natural Plant Communities:

Recommended Books


Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens
Douglas W. Tallamy, c 2007

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard
Douglass W. Tallamy, c 2019

A New Gardening Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future
Benjamin Vogt, 2017

Half-Earth, Our Planet’s Fight for Life
Edward O. Wilson, 2016


Attracting Native Pollinators
The Xerces Society, c 2011

Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants
Heather Holm, c 2014

Bees: Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide
Heather Holm, c 2017

Wasps: Their Biology, Diversity, and Role As Beneficial Insects
Heather Holm, c 2021

Bees of the Great Lakes region and the wildflowers to support them
Gibbs, Bennett, Isaacs, Landis, c 2015

Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner, c 2005

Learn About Butterflies in the Garden
Brenda Dziedzic, c 2011

Michigan Butterflies and Skippers
Mogens C. Nielsen, c 1999

Butterflies of Michigan
Janet C. Daniels, 2005

Spiders of the North Woods
Larry Weber, c 2003


Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan
Lynn M. Steiner, c 2006

Urban and Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces
Catherine B. Zimmerman, c 2010

Planting in a Post-Wild World
Thomas Ranier & Claudia West, c 2015

The Living Landscape: Designing for beauty and biodiversity in the home garden
Rick Darke & Doug Tallamy, c 2014

Rain Gardens: Sustainable Landscaping for a Beautiful Yard and a Healthy World
Lynn M. Steiner & Robert W. Domm, c 2012

Birdscaping in the Midwest
Marietta Nowak, 2007


Begins with a Bee
Lisa Ketchum, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, & Phyllis Root, 2021, Ages 4-9

Sip, Pick, and Pack…How Pollinators Help Plants Makes Seeds
Polly W. Cheney, 2017, Ages 4-9

Grandma Lisa’s Humming, Bussing, Chirping, Garden
Lisa Doseff, 2021, Ages 4-9


Ferns and Allies of the North Woods
Joe Walewski, c 2016

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web
Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis, c 2010

Trees of Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes
Norman F. Smith, c 2002

Michigan Forest Communities
Donald I. Diekmann, 2012

Where To Purchase Michigan Native Plants

Misty Ridge
Jody and Paul Zemsta
6171 N. 11 Mile Road Mesick, MI 49668
ph: 231-885-2290
Facebook: @Misty Ridge Greenhouse

Four Season Nursery
Brian Zimmerman
7557 E. Harry’s Road Traverse City, MI 49684
ph: 231-932-7400

Greystone Gardens
Tom Brodhagen
9875 Manning Road Honor, MI 49640
Just south of Empire 231-326-5855

Bill Schneider
900 N. Every Rd. Mason, MI 48854
ph: 517-244-1140

Designs By Nature
Vern Stephens
9874 Chadwick Laingsburg, MI 48848
ph: 517-651-6502

Prairie Moon Nursery
32115 Prairie Lane Winona, MN 55987
ph: 866-417-8156 or 507-452-1362

Prairie Nursery, Inc.
P.O. Box 306 Westfield, WI 53964
ph: 800-476-9453

Black Cap Farm
Matthew LaMore
5265 Crescent Beach Rd, Onekama, 49675
ph: 231-398-5972
Facebook: @blackcapplants

Birdsfoot Nursery (wholesale, retail on-line order for nursery pick-up)
South Boardman
ph: 231-313-6749

Michigan Wildflower Farm (seeds)
Portland, 48875
ph: 517-647-6010

Recommended Web Sites

Plant It Wild:
Michigan Wildflower Association:
Benzie Conservation District:
Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN) & Go Beyond Beauty:
Grand Traverse Conservation District:
Manistee Conservation District:
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council:
Saving Birds Thru Habitat:
Rain Gardens of West Michigan:
USDA Plants Data Base:
Wisconsin Vascular Plants:
Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership:
Pollinator Partnership:
Pollinators by Heather Holm:
Xerces Society:
University of Michigan Herbarium:
Michigan Natural Features Inventory:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:
National Wildlife Federation:
Leelanau Conservation District: