Native plants can be used in your yard, no matter how big or small, and no matter your style, whether you like the “kept” look, or the wild look.


Check out some of our members’ gardens here for ideas!

Websites About Native Plants & Habitat

Homegrown National Park – Tallamy’s Hub •

Michigan Bees and their plant needs • Michigan Bees

Michigan Butterflies and their host Butterfly Larval Host Plant list

Michigan Flora • Browse – Michigan Flora (select by Genus to find a plant or use the search tab)

Michigan’s Natural Communities • Michigan Natural Features Inventory (

Michigan Vegetation circa 1800 Maps • – Michigan Natural Features Inventory (

Native Bees and Wasp Info: Important PollinatorsBee and Pollinator Books by Heather Holm (

National Wildlife Federation – Garden For

Restoring The Landscape With Native

US Forest Service Celebrating

Learn more about species and garden topics:

Get Sedgy! Adaptable Native Sedge Species to Replace Wood Mulch – YouTube

10 Garden Ideas to Steal from Superstar Dutch Designer Piet Oudolf – Gardenista

Deer-resistant plants –

Salt-Tolerant Native Plants – Grow Native!

Enhancing beneficial insects with native plants – MSU Extension summary of study with links to detailed info including bloom times

Rain Gardens: A Tool for Ecological Restoration and Improved Water Quality, by Peggy Malnati

Practical Phragmites Control by Bob Williams

Botany Primer  by Natures Notebook – Learn botany terms and details

Butterfly Gardening

Honeybees vs Native Bees

Native Plants Tolerant of Juglone (Black Walnut, etc.)

Replacing Common Invasive Ornamentals with Similar Natives

Nursery Sold Invasive Native Alternative(s) Feature
Bradford Pear      Redbud, Native Dogwoods, Shadbush/Amelanchier Small trees with spring bloom
Bamboo Eastern red-cedar   Dense, evergreen foliage for privacy
Japanese or Chinese Wisteria  American Wisteria  Similar to nonnative, but not invasive
Burning Bush Highbush blueberry or Winterberry  Brilliant fall color; edible fruit, Bright-red berries in winter
Butterfly Bush  New Jersey Tea, Button bush Attract butterflies with flowers
Japanese Barberry  Ninebark, Aromatic Sumac purple leaf color varieties, nice fall color
Privet Bayberry  Glossy foliage can be pruned to hedge
Purple Loosestrife   Blazing-star, Joe-pye weed  Spikes of purple flowers in summer Purple flowers attract butterflies
Periwinkle, English Ivy, Pachysandra Wild Strawberry, Canadian Bunchberry, Canadian Anemone, Wild Ginger Creeping phlox Attracts pollinators, Attractive groundcover


Powerhouse Plants for Southeast Michigan

Adapted from NWF GFW Plant List Ecoregion8 for local species, more species in the genus maybe available as well.

Having some plants from each of these categories will support a healthy foodweb, then add additional plants to your liking as every plant serves a purpose in the ecosystem!

Trees # Caterpillar

Species that Use this as a Host Plant

# of Pollen Specialist Bee species that Rely on this Plant
Quercus White oak (Quercus alba), Black oak (Quercus velutina), Red Oak (Quercus rubra) 452
Salix Black willow (Salix nigra) 427
Prunus American plum (Prunus americana), Black cherry (Prunus serotina), 418
Betula River birch (Betula nigra), Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) 403
Populus Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) 367
Acer Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) 281
Pinus Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), Red Pine (Pinus rugosa) 247
Malus Sweet crabapple (Malus coronaria), Hawthorn (Crataegus sp) 237
Prunus Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) 340
Salix Prairie willow (Salix humilis), Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) 289 14
Vaccinium Northern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (V. angustifolium) 217 14
Rubus Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis ) Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) 156
Corylus American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) 108
Rosacea Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina), Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera), Aronia arbutifolia 120
Cornus Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea) Alternate Leaved Dogwood (C. alternifolia) 121
Amelanchier Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier arborea) 115
Tsuga Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) 110
Viburnum Arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) (Viburnum trilobum) 102
Myrica Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina), Myrica sp 98
Thuja Eastern White Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) 47
Juniperus Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) Common Juniper (Juniperus communis) 34
Solidago Stiff leaf goldenrod (Solidago rigida), Showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa),  Solidago sp 135 42
Symphyotrichum Blue wood aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium),

Smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve), Symphyotrichum sp

100 33
Fragaria Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) 82
Helianthus Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus), Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani), Helianthus sp 77 50
Eupatorium/Eutrochium  Joe-Pye, Boneset 32
Viola Common Blue Violet (V. sororia), Birdfoot Violet (V. pedata) 31
Geranium Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) 26
Rudbeckia Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Showy (R. fulgida), Green-headed

coneflower (R. laciniata)

20 28
Verbesina Wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) 20 17
Coreopsis Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), Tall coreopsis ( Coreopsis tripteris) 6 22
Monarda Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Spotted Mint (Monarda punctata) 13
Helenium Dog-tooth Sunflower (Helenium autumnale) 7 5
Agastache Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), Purple Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia) 2
Heliopsis False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) 2 5