Native Plant Pages

The native plant pages of Conservation Digest contain detailed information about individual native plants of Wisconsin.

Common Name Scientific Name
balsam fir Abies balsamea
white oak Quercus alba

Online Tools

Here are tools developed by Conservation Digest to help you make better conservation decisions about the plants on you land; those you might want to bring onto your property and those those you would like to control.

Identify Wisconsin Trees – Dichotomous Tree Key is an online tool from the Wisconsin DNR that is part of their Environmental Education for Kids program.

General Native Plant Resources

Here are some of the best sites we have found of the web. They contain extensive collections for information about a wide range of plants that are native to North America.

Bugwood – This database is run by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia. It has a tremendous collection of photographs that make identification much easier.

Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Wisconsin – Despite being nearly 20 years old, this publication is among the best listings of Wisconsin plants. It is organized by plant taxonomy, but because it is a PDF, you can search it. I like to use this publication to help me figure out whether I might be confusing the plant in front of me with similar plants.

Flora of Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Herbarium at the UW Madison combined its online database with that of the UW Stevens Point to create a comprehensive listing of plants in the state.

Missouri Botanical Gardens Plant Finder – With more than 6,800 species (most of which are horticultural rather than native), this database is an excellent resource for identifying most plants you are likely to find on your land.

USDA Plants Database – Love or hate the Feds, but you cannot beat them for compiling the most comprehensive database of plant information out there. In addition, the articles scattered across this site are informative and well written.

Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries – A publication of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that lists sources of native seed and plants grown and sold in or within 100 miles of Wisconsin. Note that you are likely to have the best results if you buy seed and plants whose source is close to your property. Differences in micro-climate and soil can affect their success. Planting natives that are used to growing in your area improves the likelihood they will fit well into your landscape.

Weeds/Invasive Plants

Cooperative Weed Management Resources – A web page maintained by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network. When you are ready to work together with other landowners and land managers in your area, this page is an excellent way to find out if there is a CWMA in your area. If not, it has all the tools you and your neighbors need to start a CWMA.

Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) in the Northeast and Midwest – A map showing the areas covered by CWMAs, with a key listing the name of each.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States – Works great but only if you know the name (common or scientific) of the invasive plant. A collaboration between the National Park Service, the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Invasive Plant Mapping Handbook – provides instruction for collecting and entering data into the Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS).

Common Name Scientific Name
palmer amaranth Amaranthus palmeri
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