Michigan lily (Lilium michiganense). Photo: Scott Woodbury

Books, Articles, & Other Publications

The following books, articles and other publications provide specific information on a wide range of native plant topics.

Field Guides & Native Plant Identification

A Gardener’s Encyclopedia of Wildflowers

by C. Colston Burrell. Readers will find this book’s highly practical and visual guide a great asset in choosing wildflowers that will thrive in their own gardens. The book focuses on the three main types of wildflower gardens–woodland meadow and prairie. Species included are not limited to lower Midwest natives.

Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide

by Heather Holm. In-depth profiles of 27 bee genera covering the life cycles, habitats, diet, foraging behaviors, crops pollinated, nesting lifestyles, seasonality, and preferred native forage plants.

Grow Native! Native Plant Database

Grow Native! Seedling ID Guide


Illinois Wildflowers Online Database

by Dr. John Hilty.  Browse prairie wildflowers, botanical and ecological terminology, and more. View website here. 

The Midwest Native Plant Primer

by Alan Branhagen. Published in 2020, The Midwest Native Plant Primer is a great resource guide for homeowners wanting to choose native plants for beauty and function.  This book features 225 plants covered in his more comprehensive Native Plants of the Midwest book published in 2016.

Missouri Wildflowers, Sixth Edition

by Edgar Denison. This handy reference manual is sorted by color.

Native Plants of the Midwest

by Alan Branhagen. Branhagen profiles hundreds of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and more in this comprehensive guide to midwestern native plants.

Ozark Wildflowers

by Don Kurz. This full-color guide contains beautiful photos and interesting facts on 355 wildflowers frequently encountered in the Ozarks. The wildflowers are arranged by color and season of bloom to aid in quick identification.

Pollinators and Native Plants

by Heather Holm. Holm’s book lists more than 65 perennial native plant species and the pollinators and beneficial insects they attract.

The Prairie in Seed

by Dave Williams. A beautifully illustrated guide to identifying wildflowers when dormant.

Prairie Wildflowers

by Don Kurz. A reference guide to 350 of prairie plans in the United States.

The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Seed and Seedling Identification in the Upper Midwest

by Dave Williams. A comprehensive seed and seedling identification guide with growth and germination information.

Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers – A Field Guide

Text by Doug Ladd, Photos by Frank Oberle. A valuable field guide to wildflowers of the midwestern tallgrass prairie packed with information and photographs. Comprehensive and scientifically accurate, the guide is useful for the beginner or professional.

Trees of Missouri

Text by Don Kurz, Illustrations by Paul Nelson. This comprehensive tree publication includes detailed information on 204 species and is a companion book to Shrubs and Woody Vines of Missouri, published in 1997. The author has included descriptions of each tree’s habitat and range, in addition to its physical characteristics. Many entries include information about trees’ historical medicinal uses, their benefits to wildlife, and the origins of their scientific names.


Native Plants & Ecology

Bringing Nature Home

by Doug Tallamy. In this New York Times bestseller, Tallamy explains how choosing native plants is essential to supporting beneficial wildlife.

Building Inside Nature’s Envelope

by Andy Wasowski. Wasowski argues that the unnatural landscape so common in America literally exists on artificial life support. A natural landscape on the other hand is filled with life and can exist with nominal maintenance. Read this book to find out how new construction and land and habitat preservation can work together.

Nature’s Best Hope

by Doug Tallamy. This  New York Times bestseller, published in 2020, urges homeowners to “take environmental action into their own hands, one yard at a time.”

The Nature of Oaks

by Doug Tallamy. The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal.

Noah’s Garden

by Sara Stein. A former conventional suburban gardener, Stein writes convincingly of the ecological history of suburbia and the necessity of good stewardship. Stein conducted research that led to a radical change in the way she gardened after noticing the absence of many creatures she remembered seeing as a child. Stein shares her research findings and describes the many ways she put this information to use on her own six acres to restore the land and its plants and animals.

Pollinators at Mizzou

by Mizzou Botanic Garden. This booklet was created for a pollinator education program offered to students associated with the Boys & Girls Club. Download a PDF



Native Landscaping Guides, Landscape Design & Community Conservation

Conservation Planning Tools for Missouri Communities 

By Ronda Burnett, Missouri Department of Conservation. Read it here.

Garden Revolution

by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher. This book challenges traditional gardening practices and focuses on purposeful landscaping to benefit wildlife and the environment.

Gardening with Nature

by James van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme. Although not all species or garden examples are Midwestern, the design concept of planting colorful drifts of wildflowers or grasses is well illustrated and sure to inspire.

Go Native! Gardening with Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest

by Carolyn Harstad. This book offers a broad spectrum of knowledge on gardening with native plants including planning, site and soil preparation, garden design, plant selection and propagation. It also covers how to create native plant environments such as prairies, meadows, wetlands and woodlands and includes information on native trees, shrubs, vines and ground covers.

Grow Wild!

by Lorraine Johnson. This book takes you on a native gardening journey across the United States. The photographs and author’s style engage the reader in learning about indigenous landscaping.

Growing and Propagating Wildflowers

by Harry Phillips. A useful book with easy-to-follow instructions for raising native plants from seeds, cuttings and divisions. Specific instructions for nearly 100 different species.

The Landscaping Revolution

by Andy Wasowski. Weekend warriors unite! Join the revolution and learn to garden with Mother Nature, not against her. If you’re tired of mowing and concerned about the environmental impact of chemicals, excess watering and using exotic plants in your landscape, this book is for you.

Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People

by Dave Tylka. Richly illustrated with photographs and helpful illustrations, veteran wildlife landscaper Dave Tylka’s book will show you how to use native Midwestern plants to beautify your property and benefit wildlife.

Native Plants of the Midwest

by Alan Branhagen. Branhagen profiles hundreds of trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and more in this comprehensive guide to midwestern native plants.

The Natural Habitat Garden

by Ken Druse. In this revolutionary book, award-winning author Ken Druse shows American gardeners how to create beautiful native plant gardens that can actually help improve the health of the planet. The selected gardens illustrate how to establish an ecosystem in miniature in your own backyard by landscaping with native plants.

Planting in a Post-Wild World

by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. This design-based guide encourages readers to create ecologically beneficial landscapes in an ever changing environment.

The Prairie Garden

by J. Robert and Beatrice Smith. This book is a great aid to beginners interested in using prairie plants for landscaping small areas as well as more advanced native landscapers wanting to increase or improve larger prairie areas. It includes specific information on 70 species that can be used in town or country.

Restoring the Tallgrass Prairie

by Shirley Shirley. An ideal book for anyone thinking about establishing a prairie planting. Includes practical management tips and illustrations of over a hundred prairie species of the upper Midwest along with thorough descriptions and illustrations.

Roadside Use of Natives

A comprehensive book from the Federal Highway Administration that will help state Departments of Transportation comply with Executive Order 13112, which ended federal funding of highway landscaping that utilizes invasive plants. This book contains practical advice on planting and maintaining non-invasive native species. For more information on this book (FWHA-EP-99-014), write to: Fred Bank, HEPN-30, Room 3240, 400 Seventh St., SW, Washington, CD 20590.

Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers – A Field Guide

Text by Doug Ladd, Photos by Frank Oberle. A valuable field guide to wildflowers of the midwestern tallgrass prairie packed with information and photographs. Comprehensive and scientifically accurate, the guide is useful for the beginner or professional.

Tried & True Missouri Native Plants for Your Yard

A number of vines, ferns, grasses & sedges, perennials, shrubs, small trees, and trees are listed in this guide with photos, growing conditions, and other details. Publication from the Missouri Department of Conservation.



Rain Gardens & Stormwater Management

A Guide to Native Landscaping in Missouri from Shaw Nature Reserve and the Missouri Department of Conservation

Chapter Two: Rain Gardening and Storm-water Management: A Landscaping Guide for Missouri

A Resident’s Reference Guide to Stormwater Management

Published by Kansas City Water Services, this guide covers stormwater, stormwater pollution, how residents can prevent stormwater pollution and reduce runoff, and stormwater fees and credits.

A Resident’s Reference Guide to Creating a Raingarden

Published by Kansas City Water Services, this guide covers design, maintenance, plant characteristics, and ideas for a rain garden. 

Grow Native! Articles from the Missouri Prairie Journal

The Missouri Prairie Foundation has been publishing the Missouri Prairie Journal since 1979. Print magazines are sent to Missouri Prairie Foundation members as a benefit of membership. Digitized articles from volumes since 2003 are available here, and Grow Native! articles are linked below:

Grow Native! Soft Landings Gardens, Vol. 44, No. 2, 2023

An Introduction to Nitrogen Fixation and Prairie Plants, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2023

Rock Garden Plan, Vol. 43, No, 3 & 4, 2022

Planting on Steep Slopes, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2022

New Grow Native! Mailbox Garden Plans, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2022

New Grow Native! Songbird Garden and Butterfly Garden Plans, Vol. 42, No. 3 & 4, 2021

Community Conservation, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2021

Points of Wildness: “Rewilding” Human Landscapes One Native Garden at a Time, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2021

Natives: The Perfect Additions to an Imperfect Garden, Vol. 41, No. 3 & 4, 2020

Transformation of a Library Landscape, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2020

Grow Native! Turns 20, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2020

Grow Native! Front Yard Formal: A New Way to Middle Ground, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2019

Grow Native! Fantastic Moths and Their Woody Plant Hosts, Vol. 39, No. 3-4, 2018

Grow Native! Thankful for Flies in the Garden, Vol. 39, No. 2, 2018

Grow Native! Winning Plant Combinations, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2017

Grow Native! Native Alternatives to Bush Honeysuckle, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2017

Grow Native! Gardening for Bumble Bees, Vol. 37, No. 3 & 4, 2016

Grow Native! Integrating Natives into a Non-Native, Traditional Landscape, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2016

Grow Native! Gardening for Monarchs, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2016

Grow Native! Native Plants for Erosion Control, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2015

Grow Native! Common Native Medicinal and Edible Plants, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2015

Grow Native! Native Plants for Flower Arrangements, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2015

Grow Native! Landscaping with Native Small Trees, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2014

Grow Native! Native Plant Container Gardening, Vol. 35, Nos. 3 & 4, 2014

Grow Native! It Starts with a Plant, Vol. 34, No. 3 & 4, 2013

Grow Native! for Water Quality, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2012

Grow Native! Gardening with Native Sedges, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2012

Grow Native! Missouri’s Native Aquatics, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2014

Grow Native! Achieving Balance with Native Landscaping, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2012

Grow Native! Prairie Gardening with Propagated Plants, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2009

Grow Native! Harnessing Prairie Plant Potential for Human Needs, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2015

Grow Native! Gardening with Native Vines, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2013

Grow Native! Establishing a Prairie Border Garden, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2013

Grow Native! New Buffalo grass Cultivar for Lawns (pg. 28), Vol. 38, No. 1, 2017

Grow Native! Native Landscaping for Skippers, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2018

Grow Native! Defending against Deer and Rabbits, Vol. 28, No. 3&4, 2018

Grow Native! Wasps: Allies in the Garden, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2019

Grow Native! Native Foliage in Autumn, Vol. 40, No. 3 & 4, 2019

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