Native Plants for Southwest Savanna

organic_sweetgrass(4)February 12, 2008

First time posting here, so greetings everyone!

I hope someone here can provide me with some guidance regarding a small residential project that I am working on.

I recently purchased a home in the city of Mineral Point, in Iowa County, Wisconsin. I would like to transform my backyard from an urban-styled grass lawn into an area that supports plants, trees, flowers, shrubs that are Native to this particular area. I have never landscaped on a large scale before and would like to make sure that whatever I plant is Natively appropriate from the get go.

After conducting some research on Wisconsin's DNR website I was able to determine that the "ecological landscape" I live in would be referred to as, "Southwest Savanna"; however, there were no immediate resources listed on specific plant species for this area.

I plan on doing the planning and design of the yard myself, therefore contacting consultants would not be a feasible solution. I'm hoping that someone would be able to point me in the right direction towards any resources [either online or publications] that list native species for my specific area, rather than general resources for the Midwest or Wisconsin.

Lastly, if anyone knows of or has had experience with purchasing Native plants from this area of the state I would greatly benefit from some recommended sources within 50 miles from zip code 53565.

My apologies for the length and my utmost respect for all responses.



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Hi, the UW Arboretum in Madison has a native plant sale every spring. Here's a link to the information, which includes a plant list divided by ecosystem. They also have a native plant garden at the arboretum to give homeowners ideas. I'm sure they could help you find more specific information for your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native plant sale

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 5:16PM
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Looks like there's also a class, starting this weekend, on designing a native garden...

Here is a link that might be useful: Native garden class

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 5:20PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I'd contact Neil Diboll at Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI. He specializes in native prairie plants and would probably know the native savanna plants as well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Prairie Nursery

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 5:44PM
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The link at the bottom of the page is a list of the native plants in Iowa county, as recorded by the Wisconsin State Herbarium. There's a lot to choose from! LOL

If you want to check other counties, this link will get you to the search page:

The first place I would check out for plants/seeds is Prairie Moon Nursery:
They have the largest selection, and their prices are very reasonable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native Plants in Iowa County

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:51AM
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I see that the search result link in my original message disappears after the link is closed.

So here's the link for the search page. Just click on the arrow to select the "county" you want, leave the "Status" blank, and select 'native' for "Origin". Click on "Search" and the list will be generated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Search for Iowa County Native Plants

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Thank you everyone for the input - your help has certainly been appreciated.

Your suggestion about the "UW Arboretum in Madison" is so wonderful I never knew that they had Native Plants sales nor did I know that they held classes. I wish I could go to that class, but I may have company visiting that day from out of town. darn! Thank you so much for the info!

Thank you for your contact suggestion I will certainly keep Neil Diboll at Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI in mind.

Thank you for the mention of the "Wisconsin State Herbarium". I have previously utilized the State Herbarium and had one concern with this resource.

The taxa that is listed here falls under categories such as, "Endangered, Threatened, Special Concern, Extirpated, and Ecologically Invasive"

In addition to using the State Herbarium as a resource I decided to come here at GardenWeb to ask folks for suggestions because I thought that it might be difficult to find several nurseries that would even have the Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern plants available for sale. And well I'm assuming that extirpated species would not be available for sale from this area just by the given meaning of the word extirpated. And Ecologically Invasive species are not anything I would like to buy, even IF, nurseries sold them.! lol Although I am certainly glad to know what plants to keep an eye out for. ;)

I do thank you for this suggestion though as this is a wonderful resource to start with.

And Thank You Thank You Thank You for the suggestion of the Prairie Moon nursery ... I will certainly keep them in mind if I can not find a closer resource. Their reviews are outstanding to say the least. And several people have mentioned that they carry endangered species so maybe I have found one nursery at the very least that carries endangered plants.

In case anyone else reading this cares Prairie Moon nursery's reviews can be found here.
This site offers reviews made by gardeners of mail order companies which you can search for by zip code. Nice resource that I found due to northeastwisc's suggestion. Thank You All!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:38AM
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Glad that you found the info helpful. The Prairie Moon catalog is worth getting even if you don't order from them. It contains info on color, bloom time, height, sun and shade needs, etc., for every species that they list. There's also a lot of info on seed germination and planting. On the website, in the online store, there are listings by bloom color, bloom time, moisture needs, etc. They are a great resource for information as well as a plant supplier.

A couple of thoughts on the State Herbarium search page. The list of plants that is generated when you leave the "Status" box empty will not contain any ecologically invasive plants. A native plant cannot be ecologically invasive by definition. To see the ecologically invasive plants, you have to select 'introduced' in the "Origin" box.

The Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern plants will be in the native list, but it is important to remember that the vast majority of these are state endangered (I think there are only about 10 - 15). They may, for example, be plentiful just across the border in IL. Plants just don't pay any attention to human created boundaries. :) A lot of them haven't read the books that we write either. LOL

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 11:46AM
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