Iowa is the only state completely within the tallgrass prairie formation. Thanks to rich soil, adequate rainfall, and warm summer temperatures, hundreds of species combine to produce a diverse and colorful and ever-changing landscape. Using text and maps by Paul Christiansen and drawings by Mark Müller, this first comprehensive guide to the prairie plants native to Iowa, originally published in 1999 and now available digitally through a partnership between the University of Iowa Press and the UI Libraries, provides all the information necessary for identifying and distinguishing even the most similar species.

Species are described from the ground up: stem, leaf, bud, flower, fruit, and habitat. Each species is paired with a distribution map and illustrations capture the general plant shapes and characteristic features. A guide to family identification, information about extant and restored prairies in Iowa, and a glossary are also included. This guide is designed to enable those who want to go beyond the most common plants to identify native species and to learn more

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Find Prairie Plants in Iowa counties
Guide to Open Prairies in Iowa