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From enhancing biodiversity to promoting sustainable landscaping practices, native plants play a pivotal role in nurturing vibrant and resilient environments. 


Discovering the perfect native plants for your landscape is made easy thanks to this curated list of online resources. From comprehensive plant databases to local nurseries specializing in native species, we provide everything you need to embark on your journey towards sustainable gardening practices.

Embrace the beauty and resilience of native plants, and let your garden thrive.

National Wildlife Federation 

Based on the research of Douglas W. Tallamy, this native plant finder uses your zip code to find plants that host the highest numbers of butterflies and moths to feed birds and other wildlife where you live. No other online resource offers zip code specific lists of native plants ranked by the number of butterflies and moths that use them as caterpillar host plants.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center

This is the most comprehensive database on native plants for North America. You can search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. Search results can be narrowed according by state/province, general appearance or habit, light requirements, soil moisture, flower color, bloom time, plant height and even more criteria. 

Homegrown National Park

Homegrown National Park is a grassroots call-to-action to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants and creating new ecological networks.Their resource page includes a native plant finder as well as resources on landscape design, removing invasive species and native plant lists. You can also put your native plant garden on their national map.  

Audubon native plant database

Enter your zip code and the database will generate a list of native plants. The 'Best Results' tab includes native plants for a particular area that have been hand-selected by Audubon experts. They are important bird resources that are relatively easy to grow and are usually available at native plant sales and nurseries. You can easily filter results to find the right plant for your yard.

Local native plant nursery databases

Many native plant nurseries have databases you can use to learn more about native plants and their benefits. It's a great way to do a bit of research, make your native plant lists, and get some design tips. Several of them have email newsletters you can sign up for.  And, while we would love for you to purchase all your native plants at one of our native plant sale fundraisers, we know that we might not have everything you want or need. Here's just a few places to check out: 

A detail shot of the red petals on a cardinal flower.

Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or just starting out, our collection of guides and manuals is here to support and inspire you every step of the way. Let's cultivate vibrant and diverse gardens, one native plant at a time.

Illinois Wildflowers
by Dr. John Hilty

This amazing resource contains descriptions, photographs, and range maps of many wildflowers and other plants in Illinois. These plants consist primarily of herbaceous flowering plants and some woody plants, whether native to Illinois or introduced from somewhere else. The website also includes information on grasses, sedges and non-flowering plants as well as trees, shrubs, and woody vines.

Native planting guide for rain garden beds

This 32-page manual from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is a comprehensive guide for creating rain gardens. Contents include sizing and siting, constructing, planting and maintaining, and recommended plants. Rain garden plants have to be able to thrive in times of flood and drought, so not every plant is suited for this environment. However, some native plants are. 

A monarch butterfly shows off its bright orange and black color.

Xerces Society pollinator conservation resources

The Xerces Society has put together a wonderful selection of region-specific native plant lists and resources.

Southern Lake Michigan Rain Garden Manual

This manual is a Southern Lake Michigan-specific resource developed for homeowners, landscape architects, city planners, and anyone else interested in protecting local rivers and lakes through gardening. 

Illinois guide for butterfly gardens

The Illinois Department of Nature Resources provides plant lists, which include a list of native host plants for butterfly larvae and native plants that provide adult butterflies with nectar sources, shelter and resting spots.  


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