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.
michiganflora.net

Michigan Natural Features Inventory
There is a wealth of plant inventory information and data on this website!
mnfi.anr.msu.edu

Vegetation circa 1800 map: mnfi.anr.msu.edu/resources/vegetation-circa-1800
Michigan’s Natural Plant Communities: mnfi.anr.msu.edu/communities

Recommended Books

General

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

Insects

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

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

Children’s

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

Specialty

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
fourseasonnurserytc.com

Greystone Gardens
Tom Brodhagen
9875 Manning Road Honor, MI 49640
Just south of Empire (231) 326-5855
greystonegarden.com

Wildtype
Bill Schneider
900 N. Every Rd. Mason, MI 48854
ph: (517) 244-1140
wildtypeplants.com

Designs By Nature
Vern Stephens
9874 Chadwick Laingsburg, MI 48848
ph: (517) 651-6502
designsbynaturellc.com

Prairie Moon Nursery
32115 Prairie Lane Winona, MN 55987
ph: (866) 417-8156 or (507) 452-1362
prairiemoon.com

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

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

Birdsfoot Nursery (wholesale)
South Boardman
ph: 231-313-6749
birdsfootnativenursery.com

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

Recommended Web Sites

Plant It Wild: plantitwild.net
Michigan Wildflower Association: wildflowersmich.org
Benzie Conservation District: benziecd.org
Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN) & Go Beyond Beauty: habitatmatters.org
Grand Traverse Conservation District: natureiscalling.org
Manistee Conservation District: manisteecd2.org
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council: watershedcouncil.org
Saving Birds Thru Habitat: savingbirds.org
Rain Gardens of West Michigan: raingardens.org
USDA Plants Data Base: plants.usda.gov
Wisconsin Vascular Plants: wisflora.herbarium.wisc.edu
Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership: mishorelinepartnership.org
Pollinator Partnership: pollinator.org
Pollinators by Heather Holm: pollinatorsnativeplants.com
Xerces Society: xerces.org
University of Michigan Herbarium: michiganflora.net
Michigan Natural Features Inventory: mnfi.anr.msu.edu
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: wildflower.org/plants-main
National Wildlife Federation: gardenforwildlife.com
Leelanau Conservation District: leelanaucd.org