Native Plants

What is a native plant?

A plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. (USDA definition)

Why garden with native plants?

Native plants were here long before lawnmowers, sprinklers and garden chemicals. They have evolved over thousands of years and, as such, have adapted to local conditions. Once established they are low maintenance and do not require care typically associated with gardens. Native perennials build a strong, deep root system before focusing on the production of leaves, stems and flowers, resulting in plants that are sturdy and drought tolerant.

Native plants also benefit us by:

– providing food and habitat for wildlife
– contributing to biodiversity
– connecting us to our home places and helping us celebrate the things that make our regions unique
– teaching us about the world of nature

And last, but not least, they’re beautiful!

Native Plant Notebook

The Native Plant Notebook is an attempt to bring together in one place important information about individual native plants.  Not only their physical appearance and optimum growing conditions, but also the creatures that depend on them for their very existence: caterpillars, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Tips for Native Plant Gardeners

Tips to Attract Pollinators

Grants to Help Fund Native Gardens

Order Your Copy of This Helpful Book Today

Attracting Birds to Your Garden with Native Plants, 38 pages, fully illustrated with color photos, produced by Wild Ones Prairie Edge Chapter.  Available at no charge, but a donation to Wild Ones Big River Big Woods is appreciated.  To order a copy, send an email to or through the “Contact” page on this website.

Identification Guides


Where to Buy Native Plants


Big River Big Woods chapter meeting recordings.