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Michigan's Invasive Species Community

Book/website recommendations for native plants

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Hello, I am working on building up my library of books to have at events or to use in the office. I am wondering what native plant/tree books people have loved using? I can often say if a plant is invasive, but it is nice to be able to tell someone if it is native as well, or be able to recommend some native plants. Any suggestions are appreciated, even if they are online resources. Thanks!

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Hi Megan,

For me I think this falls into two different categories:
1. Books I love using for my own ID, protocols, etc.

2. Books for the public

For myself, some of the USFS reference guides, as well as DNR pocket guides are my go-to's, especially since many are small enough to put into my field pack to take with on our field days. Others I have recommended to the typical office visitor/outreach attendee include "Bringing Nature Home" by Tallamy, "Attracting Native Pollinators" put out by the Xerces Society, and "Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan" by Steiner.

I'd be happy to give some more recommendations if you want to directly chat, otherwise happy book hunting!


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  • 2 weeks later...

For terrestrial plant ID I start with Newcomb's. That can usually get me to the genus. I then go to the University of Michigan Flora, https://michiganflora.net/ This site lists the species known to exist in the state and has the most up to date county records, tells you info about the habitat you will find it in (upland vs. wet), and indicates not only whether it is exotic or native, but includes the coefficient of conservation for each species (which generally indicates rarity). The site also has a lot of great pics.

(side note: check out the listing for Linum sulcatum - not the best pic, but I am still delighted at my find)

If this cheaters route to species ID doesn't lead to an obvious answer, I use Gleason's for ID, and then cross reference to the U of M Flora to determine species origin.


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