Suggested Reading for Wildflowers and Natural Landscaping
Compiled by Nancy Cutbirth Small
I. LANDSCAPING WITH MICHIGAN'S NATIVE PLANTS: WHY AND HOW
NEW and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Tallamy, Douglas. 2007. Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens. Timber Press. Focuses on critical role of native plants in the food chain.
Druse, Ken. with Margaret Roach. 1994. The Natural Habitat Garden. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Beautiful photographs and valuable text.
Nowak, Mariette. 2007. Birdscaping in the Midwest: A Guide to Gardening with Native Plants to Attract Birds. Blue Mounds, WI: Itchy Cat Press. A splendid new book.
Stein, Sara. 1993. Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. A wonderfully inspiring and informative classic.
Stein, Sara. 1997. Planting Noah's Garden: Further Adventures in Backyard Ecology. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Informative essays, plus very detailed instructions.
Steiner, Lynn M. 2006. Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan. St. Paul: Voyageur Press.
Tylka, Dave. 2002. Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People: How to Use Native Midwestern Plants to Beautify Your Property and Benefit Wildlife. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri Dept. of Conservation. Focuses, in part, on attracting butterflies and bees.
II. RECOGNIZING AND GROWING MICHIGAN'S NATIVE PLANTS
Peterson and/or Audubon Society field guides depict and briefly describe many of Michigan's native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and ferns. Particularly helpful in precisely identifying wildflowers (and some shrubs and vines) is Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (by Lawrence Newcomb). Also helpful are Stan Tekiela's small-format guides: one to Michigan trees, another to Michigan wildflowers.
Works listed below, however, do more than identify plants. They deal with them in sufficient detail to help people make selections for their yards and grow the plants successfully. Extremely helpful for its specific information as to exactly how much sun, water, etc., is needed by various species of wildflowers and grasses, and some shrubs and vines, is the yearly catalog of the Prairie Moon Nursery, in Winona, MN. For a catalog, telephone 866.417.8156 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
MICHIGAN'S FLORA (Comprehensive)
Voss, Edward G. 1972 (Pt. 1), 1985 (Pt. 2), 1996 (Pt. 3). Michigan Flora. Bloomfield Hills: Cranbrook Institute of Science and Univ. of Michigan Herbarium. One needs little or no botanical expertise to begin getting acquainted with and to profit greatly from the drawings, distribution maps, and other features of this immensely valuable work.
TREES, SHRUBS, AND VINES
Smith, Norman F. 1995. Trees of Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes. 6th ed., rev. Lansing: Thunder Bay Press.
Cullina, William, 2002. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: A Guide to Using, Growing, and Propagating North American Woody Plants. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Hightshoe, Gary. 1988. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: A Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
Brown, Lauren. 1979. Grasses: An Identification Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Cullina, William. 2000. The New England Wildflower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Wells, James R., Frederick W. Case, Jr., and T. Lawrence Mellichamp. 1999. Wildflowers of the Western Great Lakes Region. Bloomfield Hills: Cranbrook Institute of Science. Good photographs of wildflowers, arranged by habitat.
(For additional prairie and wetland wildflowers, see the following section.)
III. USING MICHIGAN'S NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES AS MODELS AND GOALS
PRAIRIES AND SAVANNAS
A few nursery catalogs describe installing and maintaining prairie plantings in very helpful detail. They include the catalog of Prairie Nursery, in Westfield, WI, a pioneer in prairie restoration (800.476.9453; www.prairienursery.com), and that of Native Connections, in Three Rivers, MI (269.580.4765; www.nativeconnections.net).
Kurtz, Carl. 2001. A Practical Guide to Prairie Reconstruction. Iowa City: Univ. of Iowa Press.
Ladd, Doug, and Frank Oberle. 1995. Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers. Helena, MT: The Nature Conservancy/Falcon Press.
Packard Stephen, and Cornelia Mutel, eds. 1997. The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook for Prairies, Savannas, and Woodlands. Society for Ecological Restoration. Washington, D. C.: Island Press. The "bible" of restorationists, but accessible to beginners.
Runkel, Sylvan T., and Dean M. Roosa. 1996. Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest. Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press.
Wasowski, Sally. 2002. Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.
Darke, Rick. 2002. The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest. Portland: Tiber Press.
Packard, Stephen and Cornelia Mutel, eds. The Tallgrass Prairie Restoration Handbook for Prairies, Savannas, and Woodlands. (See main entry above, under "Prairies.")
Cwikiel, Wilfred. 1996. Living with Michigan's Wetlands: A Landowner's Guide. Conway, MI: Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.
Henderson, Carrol L., Carolyn J. Dindorf, and Fred J. Rozumalski. [No date.] Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality. St. Paul: Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources. Includes very helpful charts on plants' cultural requirements.