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Pollinator Conservation Resources: Great Lakes Region

Bright purple flowers bloom on a tall stalk in the foreground of this long hedgerow in an agricultural setting. There are also many bright yellow, daisy-like flowers in the hedgerow, which recedes into the distance. Parallel to the hedgerow are rows of green crops, and beyond, a layer of trees.
(Photo: Xerces Society / Karin Jokela)

Welcome to our Pollinator Conservation Resources for the Great Lakes Region! Here you'll find region-specific collections of publications, native seed vendors, and other resources to aid in planning, establishing, restoring, and maintaining pollinator habitat—as well as materials to help you learn about the species of invertebrates and native plants you might encounter. 

For more resources, see our Publications Library or learn about our Pollinator Conservation Program.

Click to return to the Pollinator Conservation Resource Center home page.

 

Habitat Assessment

Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators: Yards, Gardens, and Parks

Landscaping for pollinators is one of the easiest ways for urban, suburban, and rural residents to directly benefit local wildlife. Schoolyards, community gardens, back yards, corporate campuses, rain gardens, and neighborhood parks all have the potential to meet the most basic needs of pollinators, including protection from pesticides, and resources for foraging, nesting, and overwintering. 

 

Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes

This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.

 

Habitat Assessment Guide For Pollinators: Natural Areas and Rangelands

This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for natural areas and rangelands.

 

Habitat Assessment Guide for Beneficial Insects: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes

This beneficial insect habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.

 

Estimated Costs to Establish Wildflower Plantings Using Chemical Fallow

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a quick overview of the estimated costs of establishing wildflower habitat for pollinators on conventional farms.

 

Habitat Installation

Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment

Site preparation is one of the most important and often inadequately addressed components for successfully installing pollinator habitat. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions, helpful suggestions, and regional timelines & checklists for preparing both small and large sites.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Upper Midwest

Specific to Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, this Xerces Society conservation guide provides detailed instructions for installing and maintaining pollinator habitat in the form of wildflower meadows or prairie, complete with recommended native plant lists, example seed mixes, and a Job Sheet for planning, implementing, and completing the project.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Pennsylvania Conservation Cover (327)

Specific to Pennsylvania, this Xerces and USDA-NRCS guide provides detailed instructions for installing and maintaining pollinator habitat in the form of conservation cover according to NRCS Conservation Practice 327, complete with recommended native plant lists, example seed mixes, and a Job Sheet for planning, implementing, and completing the project.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Pennsylvania Hedgerow Planting (422)

Specific to Pennsylvania, this Xerces and USDA-NRCS guide provides detailed instructions for installing and maintaining pollinator habitat in the form of hedgerows according to NRCS Conservation Practice 422, complete with recommended native plant lists and a Job Sheet for planning, implementing, and completing the project.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Michigan CRP-SAFE CP-38E, Pollinator Habitat Planting

This Michigan USDA-NRCS document outlines the technical specifications required to establish pollinator habitat through the Conservation Reserve State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (CRP-SAFE) Program. Included in the document is information about site preparation, planting, and long-term land management recommendations.

 

Native Vegetation Establishment and Enhancement Guidelines

Created by the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources, this guide is a comprehensive guidebook designed to assist resource professionals and landowners across Minnesota in meeting state vegetation policies and standards, and to guide the successful planting and management of restoration and other conservation projects. The guidelines are also designed to develop consistency among state programs; avoid the use or introduction of invasive species; and ensure that plantings function at a high level and meet project goals.  The guidelines are updated periodically as new research and field experience become available.

 

Pollinator Best Management Practices and Habitat Restoration Guidelines

Developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, this guide provides best management practices for restoring and enhancing habitat for native insect pollinators on public lands.

 

Prairie Restoration Technical Guide Series

This 10-part series provides important guidance on all stages of the restoration process, from seed collection to designing seed mixes to evaluating stand establishment, 

 

Native Vegetation Establishment Enhancement Guides

Includes detailed information on sourcing plant materials, site prep, planting, and maintenance for a variety of restoration projects.

 

Pollinator Habitat Planting

This Michigan USDA-NRCS document outlines the technical specifications required to establish pollinator habitat through the Conservation Reserve State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (CRP-SAFE) Program. Included in the document is information about site preparation, planting, and long-term land management recommendations.

 

Pollinator Habitat and Biology
An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in Illinois. An extensive and detailed list of plant species is included on pages 20-27. Also included are color photos of common regional bees and sample seeding mixes for habitat restoration efforts.


Wisconsin Biology Tech Note 8: Pollinator Biology and Habitat

An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in Wisconsin. An extensive and detailed list of plant species is included on pages 18-24. Also included are color photos of common regional bees and sample seeding mixes for habitat restoration efforts.

 

Michigan Pollinator Biology and Habitat
An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in Michigan. Extensive lists of native plants, shrubs, bunch grasses, and non-native garden plants are listed on pages 18-30.

 

Michigan Pollinator Habitat Planting
This document outlines the technical specifications required to establish pollinator habitat through the Conservation Reserve State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (CRP-SAFE) Program. Included in the document is information about site preparation, planting, and long-term land management recommendations.

 

Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed
Establishing wildflower habitat for pollinators is the single most effective course of action to conserve pollinators that can be taken by anyone at any scale. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions for establishing pollinator meadows from seed in areas that range in size from a small backyard garden up to areas around an acre.

 

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

This 16-page bulletin will help you use cover crops to encourage populations of pollinators and beneficial insects on your farm while you address your other resource concerns. It begins with a broad overview of pollinator and beneficial insect ecology, then describes cover crop selection and management, how to make cover crops work on your farm, and helpful and proven crop rotations. It will also touch on the limitations of cover crops and pesticide harm reduction, among other topics.

 

Estimated Costs to Establish Pollinator Hedgerows

This fact sheet outlines the estimated costs of establishing hedgerow habitat for pollinators. Pollinator hedgerows are diverse linear plantings of native flowering trees, shrubs, perennial wildflowers and grasses designed to provide foraging and nesting habitat for pollinators. These estimates represent average costs of establishing hedgerows from transplants, and are derived from a series of pollinator hedgerow habitat projects throughout the United States. Actual costs vary from project to project and region to region.

 

Plant Lists

Milkweed Seed Finder

As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation page or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage.

 

Pollinator Plants: Great Lakes Region

Recommended native plants for the Great Lakes Region that are highly attractive to pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds, and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces, and in farm field borders.

 

Monarch Nectar Plants:  Great Lakes Region

This regional list of monarch nectar plants is geared toward gardeners, landscape designers, and land managers who are implementing small- to large-scale monarch restoration projects.

 

Pollinator Plants: Midwest Region

Recommended native plants for Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana that are highly attractive to pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds, and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces, and in farm field borders.

 

Monarch Nectar Plants:  Midwest Region

This regional list of monarch nectar plants is geared toward gardeners, landscape designers, and land managers who are implementing small- to large-scale monarch restoration projects.

 

Native Milkweeds: Pollinator Plants of the Central United States

A series of regional guides to the native milkweeds of North America, developed in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

Native Plant Profiles and Lists

The Xerces Society has collaborated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to create plant lists that are attractive to native bees, bumble bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects, as well as plant lists with value as nesting materials for native bees. These lists can be narrowed down with additional criteria such as state, soil moisture, bloom time, and sunlight requirements.

 

Roadside Habitat for Monarchs: Milkweeds of the Great Lakes

A diversity of milkweed species is found on roadsides, and play an important role in supporting the life cycle of monarchs. This guide can help you recognize the most common native species of milkweed on roadsides in your region.

 

Roadside Habitat for Monarchs:  Milkweeds of Iowa and Minnesota

A diversity of milkweed species is found on roadsides, and play an important role in supporting the life cycle of monarchs. This guide can help you recognize the most common native species of milkweed on roadsides in your region.

 

Native Plant Posters

Full-color photograph posters of native plants for the Upper Midwest and Northeast regions, organized by soil moisture requirements, shade tolerance, and attractiveness to native bees, butterflies & moths, bumble bees, and more. 

 

Native Plants and Ecosystem Services

An extensive web site that includes lists of plants native to Michigan for attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects, based upon extensive field testing.

 

Enhancing Beneficial Insects with Native Plants

An extensive website by Michigan State University's Extension that includes lists of native and naturalized plant species for attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects, based upon extensive field testing.

 

Attracting Beneficial Insects with Native Flowering Plants

A companion fact sheet to MSU’s native plants for attracting beneficial insects website.

 

Habitat Management

Maintaining Diverse Stands of Wildflowers Planted for Pollinators

High quality pollinator meadows sometimes experience a decline in wildflower diversity or abundance as they age. This Xerces Society guide provides recommendations on how to bring declining meadows back into a high quality condition.

 

Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed

In this document we outline the basic steps of collecting native plant seed using readily available, non-specialized equipment, as well as tips for cleaning, storing, and sharing seed to expand pollinator habitat on farms and in our communities.

 

Nesting & Overwintering Habitat For Pollinators & Other Beneficial Insects

This guide focuses on a variety of natural nesting habitat features that can be readily incorporated into most landscapes. Compared to artificial nesting options such as bee blocks and bee hotels, natural nesting habitat features often better mimic the natural nest site density of insects, and also break down naturally with time, limiting disease and parasite issues.

 

Pollinator Biology and Habitat

An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in Michigan, created by the Michigan USDA-NRCS.

 

Conserving Native Bees on Farmland

An overview of Michigan’s native bees and the plants that support them, as well as strategies for their conservation on farms. Created by Michigan State University.

 

CRP-SAFE for Karner Blue Butterflies: Recommendations for Wisconsin Landowners and Conservationists

This Xerces and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire fact sheet is a supplement to contract documents provided to participants of the Wisconsin Shortgrass SAFE by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in order to help landowners and NRCS staff manage CRP-SAFE acres in the most effective way possible for restoring Karner blue populations in addition to other Conservation Reserve Program objectives and benefits.

 

Cranberry Pollination and Bumblebees

This document provides an assessment of wild bumble bee pollination for Wisconsin cranberry production. Includes a short list of plant species that support bumble bees before and after crop bloom. Created by Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association.

 

Bumble Bee Conservation In and Around Cranberry Marshes

This document summarizes research conducted by the University of Wisconsin about which plant species and plant community types around cranberry farms are most valuable for bumblebee forage in northern Wisconsin. Created by the University of Wisconsin.

 

Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner's Guide

Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide is packed with resources and information on the natural history and ecology of native thistle species. The authors describe the diversity of the 62 species of native thistles in North America, showcasing several species from different regions. A list of regional guides and resources was developed to help identify native thistles and distinguish them from invasive thistles in your region. Included is one of the most comprehensive lists of over 200 species of bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects that visit native thistle flowers along with an extensive list of the native insect herbivores that feed and depend on native thistles.

 

Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner's Guide

The information in Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide is gathered from interviews with native plant nurseries and seed producers, gained firsthand through Project Milkweed, and synthesized from scientific literature. It provides conservation professionals with information about optimizing milkweed seed production methods, offers guidance on incorporating milkweeds into restoration and revegetation efforts, and highlights milkweeds’ unique characteristics and value to wildlife. Native seed producers, restoration practitioners, land managers, monarch conservationists, gardeners, and landowners will all find this guide valuable.

 

Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards (Second Edition)

Produced by Cornell University, Penn State University, The Xerces Society, Northeastern IPM Center, USDA Department of Agriculture, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This book includes a photo guide to bees most important to apple production in the East, steps to conserving wild bee populations, plant recommendations to enhance habitat, summary of bee toxicities for commonly used orchard pesticides, and links to additional information.

 

Managing Eastern Apple Orchards for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects

Developed by Penn State Extension and Xerces Society staff, this full-color, 86-page guide with over 100 photographs focuses on balancing pest management in orchards with the protection of managed and wild pollinators and beneficial insects.

Pesticide Protection

Guidance to Protect Habitat from Pesticide Contamination: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Pollinator Habitat

This Xerces Society guidance document was designed to help growers, land managers, and others safeguard pollinator habitat from harmful pesticide contamination. It includes information on selecting habitat sites, as well as ways to maintain clean habitat by limiting and carefully managing pesticide use.

 

Smarter Pest Management: Protecting Pollinators at Home

Most of North America’s native bee species only forage over a distance of a few hundred yards, so with a little planning, your yard can provide a safe space for bees and other pollinators to thrive. All you need to give them are flowering plants throughout the growing season, undisturbed places to nest, and protection from pesticides. This Xerces Society guide will help you with the last item, managing yard pests in a pollinator-friendly way.

 

Smarter Pest Management: Pollinator Protection for Cities and Campuses

This Xerces Society fact sheet introduces to city and campus land managers the concept of integrated pest management (IPM), a system that emphasizes prevention first and seeks to eliminate the underlying causes of plant diseases, weeds, and insect problems rather than relying on routine use of pesticides.

 

Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

From large farms to small backyard gardens, many people use fungicides to control plant pathogens. While insecticides have long been recognized as a threat to bees and other beneficial insects, fungicides have generally been assumed to be relatively harmless. Though most fungicide exposures won’t kill a bee immediately, a growing body of research suggests that some fungicides can cause subtle yet significant harm. This Xerces Society fact sheet delves into how these impacts on pollinators occur, and offers mitigation measures and alternative pest management strategies.

 

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides 

This detailed guide, produced jointly by the extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho, offers guidance on how to select and apply insecticides. Extensive tables list the toxicity to bees of dozens of chemicals and how long after application they remain hazardous to bees in the field.

 

Protecting Bees from Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. This Xerces Society brochure explains why they are a risk to bees, gives examples of neonicotinoid garden products, and gives some simple tips for protecting bees from these insecticides.

 

How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees: The Science Behind the Role These Insecticides Play in Harming Bees

In this Xerces Society report, we present an overview of research that clearly documents neonicotinoid impacts on bees. The report also covers what can be inferred from existing research, and identifies knowledge gaps that will need to be filled to allow for better-informed decisions about the future use and regulation of these chemicals.

 

Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Agriculturally Important Beneficial Insects

This Xerces Society report details potential negative impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on important beneficial insects. It also makes recommendations on how we can better protect important beneficials like beetles and wasps.

 

Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

These Xerces Society guidelines provide a brief overview of how to select and apply pesticides for organic farm operations while minimizing pollinator mortality. Many of the practices outlined here for protecting pollinators also can help to protect beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps and flies; predaceous wasps, flies, and beetles; ambush and assassin bugs; lacewings; and others. The presence of these insects can further reduce pest pressure and the need for chemical treatments.

 

Common Organic-Allowed Pesticides: A Comparative Overview

Intended as a companion document to Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, this fact sheet is intended to be a quick reference to help you select and use organically-approved pesticides with the least impact on bees and other beneficial insects.

 

Supporting Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management: Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a brief overview of mosquito management methods that protect both people and pollinators, plus two case studies in effective mosquito management.

 

IPI Database

The IPI database contains summaries of research articles on pesticides, their effects on invertebrates, and pesticide movement in the environment. Articles have been reviewed and summarized to highlight key findings by Xerces Society staff.

 

Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using Integrated Pest Management and Other Conservation Practices

Agronomy Technical Note No. 9.

 

Identification & Monitoring Resources

Upper Midwest Citizen Scientist Pollinator Monitoring Guide: Native Bees

Developed for community scientists (sometimes referred to as "citizen scientists") to document how native bee communities change through time in pollinator habitats. It includes an introduction to bee identification, an overview of biology, tools for identifying different groups of bees, and observation datasheets.

 

Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide

A full color print-and-fold guide to the rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), a formerly common species that is now endangered. Includes images of similar looking species.

 

Yellow-Banded Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide:

A full color print-and-fold guide to the yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar-looking species.

 

Pennsylvania Citizen Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide

An instructional handbook for native bee survey efforts, used by the Penn State Master Gardener Program. The handbook assists users in identifying native bees to broad morphological categories for assessing general pollinator abundance and diversity. Developed in collaboration with the Xerces Society, this guide is useful in identifying broad groups of bees throughout the Northeastern U.S.

 

Pennsylvania Citizen Scientist Bee Monitoring Pocket Guide

A pocket-sized printable field version of the taxonomic native bee groups described in the Penn-State Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide.

 

Native Bee ID Posters

Full-color high quality photographic posters of native bees, ground nesting bees, and cavity nesting bees

 

Bee Spotter

Bee Spotter is an initiative to document the abundance and distribution of bumble bees within Illinois. Site visitors can submit their own photos for identification assistance, and observational reports are recorded in a database showing the geographic locations of each species.

 

Minnesota Bumble Bee Survey

Visit this page to learn more about Minnesota’s 18 species of bumble bees, and how to volunteer for multi-year sampling of bumble bee populations in targeted parks in Minnesota.

 

Spring Wild Bees of Wisconsin

This online guide will help you identify wild bees common in Wisconsin in the spring and early summer.

 

Ohio Bee Identification Guide

A pocket guide to the groups of bees common in Ohio from the Ohio State University-OARDC.

 

Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States

This US Forest Service guide provides information to identify 21 bumble bee species found east of the Mississippi River.

 

The Bee Genera of Eastern Canada 

A thorough overview of the 39 genera of bees found in Canada east of Manitoba including a dichotomous key.

 

Bee Observer Cards 

A highly attractive guide about native bees, identification tips, habitat needs, pollination ecology, and more. 

 

 

Native Seed & Plant Vendors

Milkweed Seed Finder

As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation page or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage.

 

Agrecol, Madison, WI

Agrecol provides a diverse selection of native wildflower and grass seed, as well as live native plants, to the Upper Midwest.

 

Allendan Seed, Winterset, IA

Allendan Seed offers over 250 species of Iowa grown native wildflower and prairie seed.

 

Amanda's Garden, Springwater, NY

Amanda's Garden offers nursery propagated perennials native to the Northeast.

 

Blazing Star Nursery, Woodstock, IL

Blazing Star sells prairie, woodland and wetland seeds and small numbers of plants from the northeastern Illinois region.

 

Bluestem Farm, Baraboo, WI

Bluestem offers nursery-propagated prairie, savanna, and woodland potted plants native to southern Wisconsin.

 

Cardno Native Plant Nursery, Walkerton, IN

Cardno Native Plant Nursery provides plant materials and seeds of Midwest native grasses, wildflowers, trees and shrubs.

 

Country Road Greenhouses, Inc., Rochelle, IL

Country Road Greenhouses, Inc. specializes in prairie forb, grass and sedge transplants.

 

Ernst Conservation Seed, Meadville, PA

Offers Xerces-reviewed seed mixes for pollinator conservation projects. 

Ernst sells a diversity of Eastern ecotype native wildflower and grass seeds, as well as planting material of trees and shrubs.

 

Everwilde Farms, Inc., Bloomer, WI

Everwilde offers a selection of wildflower seeds, including species native to the Midwest.

 

Envirotech Nursery, Somerset, OH

Envirotech is a wholesale and retail native plant nursery that sells wetland, sedge meadow, wet prairie and tallgrass prairie plants.

 

Glacial Ridge Growers, Glenwood, MN

Glacial Ridge Growers offers over 250 species of live plants, propagated and grown using sustainable non-chemical production techniques.

 

Heartland Restoration Services, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN

Heartland's native seed nursery provides seed of Midwestern wildflowers, grasses and sedges, and will also contract grow native plant materials.

 

Hidden Savanna Nursery, Kalamazoo, MI

Hidden Savanna provides Michigan native wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs sold in containers and plugs, with a focus on SW Michigan ecotypes.

 

Hoksey Native Seeds, Lynnville, IA

Hoksey provides Iowa ecotype natvie grasses and wildflower seeds, as well as CRP or custom seed mixes.

 

Ion Exchange Native Wildflower Seed and Nursery, Harpers Ferry, IA

Ion Exchange sells native prairie wildflower and grass seed and plant materials to locations in the Midwest.

 

J & J Transplant Aquatic Nursery Inc., Wild Rose, WI:

J & J offers plugs, seeds and bare root material of prairie and aquatic Midwest species.

 

Keystone Flora , Cincinnati, OH

Keystone Flora offers Ohio-sourced native plant material, including forbs, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees.

 

Landscape Alternatives, Inc., Shafer, MN

Prairie flowers and grasses and Midwest woodland flowering plants can all be found at Landscape Alternatives plant nursery.

 

Michigan Wildflower Farm, Portland, MI

Michigan Wildflower Farm is a producer of local ecotype native Michigan wildflower and grass seed.

 

Minnesota Native Landscapes, Otsego, MN

Minnesota Native Landscapes offers native Minnesota plant community seed mixes, as well as trees and shrubs, and can custom grow requested native plants.

 

Morning Sky Greenery, Morris, MN

Morning Sky sells seeds and plant materials of a wide range of native plants found in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

 

Native Connections, Three Rivers, MI

Native Connections provides Michigan ecotype grass and wildflower seed.

 

The Native Plant Nursery, LLC, Ann Arbor, MI

The Native Plant Nursery, Inc. offers Michigan sourced native plants and seeds, as well as custom seed mixes.

 

Natural Communities Native Plants, Batavia, IL

Natural Communities Native Plants carries many varieties of native milkweed plants to the Chicago region

 

The Natural Garden, Inc., St. Charles, IL

The Natural Garden, Inc. sells herbaceous perennial plants native to the Chicago region, as well as seeds of some species.

 

Natural Shore Technologies, Inc., Maple Plain, MN

Natural Shore's nursery specializes in moisture-loving prairie plants as well as Minnesota native shore and wetland plant stock.

 

Naturally Native Nursery, South Bend, IN

Naturally Native Nursery is an organic native plant nursery with tens of thousands of Upper Midwest native plants, including seven milkweed species.

 

Naturally WILD, Minneapolis, MN

Naturally Wild provides native Minnesota wildflowers, grasses and other garden plants that are grown using only natural, sustainable, nonchemical methods.

 

Nodding Onion Gardens, Columbia Station, OH

Nodding Onion Gardens strives to offer native wildflower plants that are attractive to native pollinators as well as offering plants listed as endangered or threatened.

 

Ohio Prairie Nursery, Hiram, OH

Ohio Prairie Nursery provides Ohio regional seed mixes as well as species of wildflower, grass and sedge seeds, and a limited amount of plant material.

 

Osenbaugh's Prairie Seed Farms, Lucas, IA

This seed producer provides prairie wildflower and grass seeds of Iowa ecotypes.

 

Out Back Nursery, Inc., Hastings, MN

Out Back sells plant materials from Minnesota woodland, floodplain, savanna, wetland, shoreline, and prairie species.

 

The Plantsmen Nursery, LLC, Groton, NY

This nursery provides grasses, shrubs, trees, perennial wildflowers and wetland plants native to New York.

 

Possibility Place Nursery, Monee, IL

Possibility Place Nursery offers plants of Illinois native shrubs, trees and perennials. The Prairie Flower, Spencer, IA: The Prairie Flower provides northwest Iowa ecotype native prairie and wetland plants and seeds.

 

Prairie Nursery, Westfield, WI

Prairie Nursery provides native wildflower and grass seed, seed mixes, and plants to the Midwest region.

 

Prairie Moon Nursery, Winona, MN

Prairie Moon has a high diversity of species native to the Upper Midwest for prairie, savanna, woodland and wetland, and sells seed and bare-root plants.

 

Prairie Restorations, Inc., Princeton, MN

Prairie Restorations provides Minnesota ecotype seeds and plants of prairie, savanna, wetland, woodland and shoreline species.

 

St. Williams Nursery, St. Williams, ON, Canada

St. Williams Nursery is the largest source-identified native seed and plant nursery in the province of Ontario.

 

Shooting Star Native Seeds, Spring Grove, MN

Shooting Star Native Seeds specializes in local ecotype prairie and wetland seed, as well as seed mixes appropriate for the Upper Midwest.

 

Simply Native Nursery, Alexis, IL

We offer nursery propagated prairie, woodland and wetland forbs and grasses native to Western IL/Eastern IA.

 

Southern Tier Consulting and Nursery, Inc., West Clarksville, NY

This nursery sells live plant material of wetland, wildflower and grasses native to the NE U. S., in addition to some seed.

 

Spence Restoration Nursery, Inc., Muncie, IN

Spence provides native seeds and plants of eastern Midwest ecotypes, including wetland, prairie, and woodland species.

 

Spring Lake Restoration Nurseries, Prior Lake, MN

Spring Lake sells plants and seeds of ecotypes of east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

 

Stone Silo Prairie Gardens, De Pere, WI

Stone Silo provides native flowers and grasses, available online or by mail.

 

Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, Brodhead, WI

Taylor Creek offers native seeds and plants of prairie grasses and wildflowers, shrubs and trees of the Midwest.

 

Wetland Supply Company, Apollo, PA

Wetland Supply sells native wetland, prairie and woodland plants, both containerized and bare root stock.

 

Wildtype Native Plant Nursery, Mason, MI

Wildtype provides Michigan ecotype plant material of woody plants, forbs and grass species.

 

Central Great Lakes and Midwest Native Seed Mix

Produced by Cardno JF New Nursery, this mix includes high quality native perennial wildflowers that are highly attractive to pollinators, and appropriate for habitat restoration in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. The mix also includes one or more species of native bunch grass that provide nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects.

 

Eastern Great Lakes Native Seed Mix

This regionally adapted mix from Ohio Prairie Nursery includes diverse native wildflower species that provide high quality sources of pollen and/or nectar to pollinators, and several species of native bunch grass that provide nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This mix is suitable for planting in Ohio, Indiana, western New York, and western Pennsylvania.

 

Pennsylvania Native Seed Mix

This mix produced by Ernst Conservation Seeds includes high quality native perennial wildflowers that are highly attractive to pollinators, and a native bunch grass that provides nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This mix is suitable for habitat restoration in Pennsylvania.

 

Upper Midwest Native Seed Mix

This mix developed by Minnesota Native Landscapes includes high quality native perennial wildflowers that are highly attractive to pollinators, and one or more species of native bunch grass that provide nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This mix is appropriate for habitat restoration in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This mix is sold as “pure live seed” as opposed to “bulk seed” and is calculated at a robust seeding rate of 40 seeds per square foot, per acre.

 

Western Great Lakes Native Seed Mixes

These mixes from Prairie Nursery include high quality annual and perennial wildflowers that provide pollinators with season-long sources of pollen and/or nectar. To provide nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects, several species of bunch grass are also included. These mixes are appropriate for habitat restoration in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Separate mixes are available for sites with dry versus mesic soils.

 

Further Reading

Pollinator Conservation in Minnesota and Wisconsin: A Regional Stakeholders Report

This Xerces Society report summarizes the findings of an August 2010 meeting of regional stakeholders (farm organizations, universities, nonprofit conservation organization, and state and federal agencies) held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It identifies the primary threats to the region’s pollinator and offers conservation recommendations.

 

Conserving Pollinators: A Primer for Gardeners

An introduction to pollinator conservation in urban gardens including information on pesticides reduction, flower selection for pollinators, native bee nests, and backyard beekeeping, by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

 

Factors Affecting Butterfly Use of Filter Strips in Southwestern Minnesota

A summary of how native grass farm buffer strips affect the populations of several butterfly species in intensively farmed landscapes, created by Iowa and Minnesota USDA-NRCS.

 

Farming for Bees

Farming for Bees outlines ways to protect and enhance habitat for native crop pollinators in the farm landscape. Containing a wealth of information about common groups of native bees, their habitat requirements, and conservation strategies to increase their numbers on farms.

 

Habitat Planning for Beneficial Insects

This publication outlines the ecology of many native beneficial insect groups and highlights recommended strategies for conservation biological control—the practice of providing habitat for insects that attack crop pests. While native predator and parasitoid insects alone may not solve all of a producer’s pest problems, they can be an important part of an Integrated Pest Management system and contribute to reduced need for pesticides over time.

 

Farming with Native Beneficial Insects

This comprehensive guide describes how to recognize these insects and their habitat, and how to evaluate, design, and improve habitat for them. Close-up photography and in-depth profiles familiarize you with more than 20 beneficial insects and their kin. Step-by-step illustrated instructions detail specific solutions including native plant field borders, mass insectary plantings, hedgerows, cover crops, buffer strips, beetle banks, and brush piles.

 

Attracting Native Pollinators

Attracting Native Pollinators offers the latest understanding on creating and managing pollinator habitat. Illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and dozens of specially created illustrations, this book will help you make room for the pollinators that you love. 

 

100 Plants to Feed the Bees

100 Plants to Feed the Bees identifies the plants that honey bees and native bees – as well as butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds – find most nutritious, including flowers, trees, shrubs, herbs, and pasture plants.

 

Gardening For Butterflies

Gardening for Butterflies will introduce you to a variety of butterflies that need help and provides suggestions for native plants to attract them, habitat designs to help them thrive, and garden practices to accommodate all their stages of life. Home gardeners will learn how to design a butterfly garden, no matter the size of their space.