top of page

Recommended Native Plant Books for Iowa

Why Native Plants?

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 5.02.45 PM.png

Nature's Best Hope

A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard

By Douglas W. Tallamy

Nature's Best Hope was the book that first got me really interested in the beauty and value of native plants. I happened to stumble upon a video of a talk Tallamy gave about the book (which you can check out yourself here), and I was inspired. The book discusses the science behind why native plants are so important for local ecosystems, and shares all sorts of interesting and effective case studies he's seen.

The book is a powerful testament to native plants, and an inspiring call to action.  


Purchases made from our links support the development of the Iowa Native Plants website and a fund that supports independent bookstores across the country. Learn more here

Douglas W. Tallamy’s first book, Bringing Nature Home, awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives. 

In this new book, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Nature’s Best Hope shows how homeowners everywhere can turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats. Because this approach relies on the initiatives of private individuals, it is immune from the whims of government policy. Even more important, it’s practical, effective, and easy—you will walk away with specific suggestions you can incorporate into your own yard.

If you’re concerned about doing something good for the environment, Nature’s Best Hope is the blueprint you need. By acting now, you can help preserve our precious wildlife—and the planet—for future generations.

Native Plant Guides


Purchases made from our links support the development of the Iowa Native Plants website and a fund that supports independent bookstores across the country. Learn more here

The Midwest Native Plant Primer

225 Plants for an Earth-Friendly Garden

By Alan Branhagen

While there are all sorts of great, free resources online about native plants (many of them collected on this website!), sometimes its nice to have a handy printed copy. This book provides just that, with beautiful photos and plenty of details about what environments each plant thrives in. Plus, it has pointers about which sorts of critters like each plant most (birds, bees, bugs, etc). 

The introduction has has some great reminders about the value of native plants and some reflections on the beauty of the midwest. 


Bring your garden to life--and life to your garden 

Do you want a garden that makes a real difference? Choose plants native to our Midwest region.

The rewards will benefit you, your yard, and the environment--from reducing maintenance tasks to attracting earth-friendly pollinators such as native birds, butterflies, and bees. Native plant expert Alan Branhagen makes adding these superstar plants easier than ever before, with proven advice that every home gardener can follow. This incomparable sourcebook includes 225 recommended native ferns, grasses, wildflowers, perennials, vines, shrubs, and trees. It's everything you need to know to create a beautiful and beneficial garden. 


This must-have handbook is for gardeners in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

bottom of page