Handouts & Guides

This page provides links to a variety of handouts, guides, and articles to help you learn about native plants and how to  incorporate them into your landscaping project.


How to Start Native Seeds Indoors – Click here for Prairie Moon Nursery’s guide to starting native plants from seed.  Click here for Prairie Nursery’s guide to starting native plants from seed.

Propagating Woodland Plants (pdf)– This handout include selected resources recommended by John Marlin from his presentation on March 10, 2014.


Common Landscape Invasives and Native Alternatives – This link will take you to a website that has the resources (Powerpoint presentation and PDF’s) that Kelly Allsup provided for us during her February 2018 program on this subject.  On the top right of this web link click download and the resources will download to your computer.  You will then to extract these files before you can open/read them.  

Designing Wild With Wildflowers and Natives (pdf) – by Bob Streitmatter – This document outlines the key points covered in Bob Streitmatter’s presentation to our chapter on this topic.

Illinois Native Plants for the Home Landscape (pdf)  – This link will take you to a PDF of guide developed by the University of Illinois Extension that nicely summarizes various characteristics of Illinois native plants that can be used in the home landscape.  For additional types of planting guides developed by the University of Illinois Extension and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant visit this LINK.

Native Plant Gardens for the Small Yard This link will take you to a page where you can download a PDF copy of this book developed by the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Pennsylvania.  Many of the native plants listed in this book are also found in Illinois.

Practical Advice for Gardening with Natives (pdf) – by Iza Redlinski – This document contains links to resources referenced in Iza Redlinski’s presentation to our chapter in April, 2021. 

Rain Garden: A Native Planting Guide for Rain Garden Beds (pdf) – This link will take you to a PDF of a guide developed by the University of Illinois Extension that nicely summarizes native plants and design ideas for a rain garden.

Rain Garden Plants for Illinois (pdf) – This handout from the Prairie River Network lists native Illinois plants suitable for rain gardens.

Recommended Natives for the Garden and Landscape (pdf) – This handout was part of Trish Beckjord’s March, 2020 program on landscaping with native plants.

Soft Landings – This link provides information how diverse native plantings under keystone trees (or any other regionally appropriate native tree) can provide critical shelter and habitat for one or more life cycle stages of moths, butterflies, and beneficial insects such as bumble bees, fireflies, lacewings, and beetles. Suggestions for species to plant are also provided.

Tips for Planting Your Native Plants (pdf) – When you get your native plant home from the plant sale, use these tips to enhance your plant’s chances of survival.

Tips for Native Gardens (pdf)– Head off some potential problems by reading this list of tips for creating a native garden.

What Not to Buy at the Nursery (pdf) – Included in this handout is a list of invasive and aggressive plants commonly found in nurseries, how & where they invade, and suggestions of native alternatives.

Wildlife in your Native Garden (pdf) – this short brochure provides quick facts, suggestions, and resources for supporting wildlife in your garden with native plants.


Climate Change in the Midwest (pdf) – Summary of 2020 Powerpoint presentation given by climatologist Jim Angel. 

Getting the Shot: How to Photograph Native Flowers by Ken Robertson – The following guides were provided at the native plant photography workshop.

  1. Introduction (pdf)
  2. Composition (pdf)
  3. Exposure Triangle (pdf)
  4. Plant Portraits (pdf)
  5. Close -ups (pdf)
  6. Telephoto and Wide angle (pdf)


Natural Areas in Illinois  Page 1 Page2 – This is a list of the natural areas of significance in Illinois  as presented by Chris Benda, Illinois Natural History Survey Botanist.


Drought-tolerant Native Plants (pdf) – this document lists drought-tolerant trees, shrubs, forbs, ferns, and grasses which are native to Central Illinois.

Easy to Grow Native Plants for your Shade Garden (pdf) – This handout includes a select list of native shade plants which are easy to grow and care for. It includes suggestions for all shade areas and for difficult shade areas.

Getting Started With Natives in Your Yard Summary (pdf) by Sherrie Snyder

Illinois Milkweeds (pdf) – this quick chart developed by Janet Rasmussen (Ph.D. in Biology & Ecology) provide the common name, scientific name, height, flower color, as well as sun and soil preferences of milkweeds native to the state of Illinois.

Introduction to Orchids of Illinois (pdf) – This outline provides information about native orchids across Illinois including a breakdown by habitat. Handout from John Taft’s presentation on January 11, 2016.

Nativars (pdf) – This document provides a definition of a nativar and contains links to Wild Ones’ stance on the use of nativars.  Also included in the document is a link to more information on current research into nativars’ role in the environment.

Resources for the Native Plant Enthusiast (pdf) – This handout provides a list of recommended books, smart phone apps, websites, Facebook pages and Facebook groups related to learning more about the native plants of central Illinois and the wildlife associated with these plants.  This list was compiled by chapter members Sherrie Snyder and Janet Rasmussen for their January 8, 2018 presentation.


Central Illinois Native Plants for Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and Monarch caterpillars (pdf) – Includes each plant’s common name, scientific name, sun level requirements, soil needs, and the plant’s height, bloom color, & blooming months.

Perilous Plight of the Pollinator Worldwide (pdf)  – Pollinator populations are plummeting. Use this brochure, a list of IL native flowers and shrubs, to create a positive native plant environment to provide a sustainable habitat for local pollinators. Produced by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the USDA.

Pollinator Garden: Native Plants for Attracting Pollinators (pdf) – This link will take you to a PDF of a guide developed by the University of Illinois Extension that nicely summarizes some native plants and design ideas for use in a pollinator garden.

Pollinator Gardens Design Guide (pdf) – This guide developed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service contains useful information on designing native plant gardens for pollinators and also has sample garden designs for various site conditions.


Controlling Exotic and Invasive Species in Restorations (pdf) – Compiled by Bob Szafoni for his presentation to our chapter on Woodland Restoration.

Don Gardner Prairie Project articles:

Observations on Recreating Prairie by Don Gardner in Illinois Stewards Magazine Pages 1-2 here  (pdf)pages 3-4 here (pdf)
Continuing Floristic and Quantitative Evaluations of a Prairie Project Started In 1974 In Northern Ford County, Illinois by Don Gardner (pdf)
Prairie Restoration on an East-Central Illinois Field by Don Gardner (pdf)

How to Plant a Prairie – This link to Prairie Moon Nursery’s website provides a step-by-step guide to plating a prairie plot from seed.


Central Illinois Native Trees and Shrubs (pdf) – Includes each plant’s common name, scientific name, sun level requirements, soil needs, height, and bloom time and color.  Also included are notes about the plant’s structure or growth habits to help you make an educated selection.

Forest Ecology – Link to a Powerpoint presentation given by Guy Sternberg at our Saturday, September 11, 2021 program

Native Trees and Naturalized Areas in Normal, IL (pdf) – These presentation slides, by Bobby Jones, provide an overview of what natives are used within the Town of Normal and highlights the naturalized areas of Fransen Nature Area, Maxwell Park, Hidden Creek Nature Sanctuary, and Blackstone Trails.

Selection and Care of Native Trees and Shrubs (pdf) – These presentation slides by Ryan Pankau, Horticulture Educator with the University of Illinois Extension, highlight a variety of characteristics of trees and shrubs native to central Illinois.