For a short explanation of why it’s now necessary to add native plants to our home and public landscapes, watch Rebecca McMackin’s 12 minute TED Talk or read the article Gardening for Life by Doug Tallamy. For more in depth information, watch the first hour of Doug Tallamy on “Nature’s Best Hope”, a 2021 presentation to the Dutchess Land Conservancy about biodiversity decline and how putting native plants in our yards can help reverse the decline. Doug Tallamy is a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology and one of the most influential and persuasive voices in the native plant movement. You may also like his books “Nature’s Best Hope” (2020) or “Bringing Nature Home” (2009) or website HomeGrown National Park.


One of the most frequently asked questions is “where do I find native plants?” You may find some native plants at local nurseries, but it is difficult to find native plants locally, especially straight species. The nurseries below sell only or predominantly native plants and have large selections. If you can take a trip to one of these nurseries, it is always great to see the plants in person and to be able to ask questions of nursery staff. If you can’t get out to one of the nurseries but would like to order some plants from one of the nurseries, email Jennifer. Our members occasionally make trips to the nurseries.  HGCNY, the Syracuse Wild Ones chapter also puts out a yearly guide to native plant nurseries west of Oneida County.

Wild Ginger Farm-West Winfield, NY- https://www.wildgingerfarmny.com/ 10% discount for dues paying WOMV members.

Olney’s Nursery-Rome, NY– no online inventory page. Native trees and shrubs are pink tagged.

The Fernery-Hartwick, NY-https://theferneryatwhitehouse.com/

Plantsmen-Ithaca, NY-https://www.plantsmen.com/ 

Amanda’s Garden-Dansville,NYhttps://www.amandasnativeplants.com/onlinestore

Native Plant Shopping Guide-HGCNY’s free guide to native plant nurseries in CNY and the plants they sell. Updated every year.


NYDEC Native Plants brochure– Native flowers, shrubs, trees and vines-excellent beginner website-nice photos, not too many listings, listed plants fairly easy to find, sun/shade planting requirements.

Native and Invasive Plant Lists -From HGCNY (Syracuse Wild Ones chapter) Includes biodiversity all-stars and suggestions for substitutes for common invasives.

Amanda’s Garden– their online store has photos, conditions needed, and prices for native plants that they will ship to you. Also includes lists of deer resistant plants , plants for shady or sunny locations and more.  https://www.amandasnativeplants.com

Keystone Native Plants – from the NWF and Doug Tallamy, a list of the keystone (most ecologically important) plants for our area. Keystone native plants list or watch the video.

National Wildlife Federation-native plants by zip code, lists by number of butterflies/moths each plant supports  https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/Plants

Audubon Society -plants listed by the birds they attract. Uses zip code https://www.audubon.org/native-plants/search?zipcode=13440&utm_source=ny.audubon.org&utm_campaign=np-embed

 NY Flora Atlas <https://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/> Takes a little practice, but if you go to advance search, and indicate native plants only, choose your county and hit search, you can find the list of species native to that county.


Embracing Native Plants Doesn’t Have to be All or Nothing-a short article by Jessica Diamant on how to ease into adding native plants to your yard.

Converting Lawns into Diverse Landscapes: Case Studies-Multiple examples of homeowners who replaced different sections of their lawn with native plants and climate friendly landscaping. Before and after photos, descriptions of how they made the change, and plant lists.

How to Start a Native Plant Garden-short article with photos of one couple’s successful process

Neighbor-Friendly Wildlife Gardening-11 tips for making your yard more eco-friendly and keeping the neighbors happy

Native Keystone Plants for Wildlife-A  one hour Youtube presentation from the National Wildlife Foundation about the plants that are most essential to sustain wildlife-and us. 

Guide to Passing Wildlife-Friendly Property Maintenance Ordinances- sample model ordinances to bring to your local city council or HOA to update their ordinances to allow sustainable landscaping

Ten Tips for a Thriving Pollinator Victory Garden-Quick tips by Kim Eierman about best practices for pollinators.

Native Plants for the Small Yard-this 60 page booklet includes 9 different design templates with plant lists. Lots of drawings and photos too.

Sample Native Garden DesignThe sample design for Boston from Wild Ones uses many plants that are also native to our area.

POLLINATOR RESOURCES-developed by Janet Allen for Habitat Gardening of CNY unless otherwise noted

Bumblebee Resources

Butterfly Resources

Wild for Monarchs brochure-published by Wild Ones

Pollinator Resources-general

Plants for Bumblebees

Insects in Winter by Doug Tallamy– Wild Ones handout

Making Gardens More Pollinator Friendly-excellent overview article by Rosanne Loparco, Master Gardener and WOMV member


Wild Ones Statement on the Use of Natives – Position paper, REVISED 2021

From the Statement – A conclusion by Doug Tallamy, a Wild Ones Honorary Board Member:
“It is a bad idea to load the landscape with cultivars that have no genetic variability… I think the safest policy right now is to encourage the use of straight species. Ask for them at your local nursery; encourage nurserymen to start stocking more straight species. The nursery industry has not embraced the message that native plants are more about ecosystem function than about looks. We have to convince them that there is a market for plants with high function.” 

What is a cultivar, a native plant, a weed? Definitions of Commonly Used Terms

Gardening for Life by Doug Tallamy Wild Ones handout

Insects in Winter by Doug Tallamy– Wild Ones handout

Jumping worms– From Cornell Cooperative Extension

Bird Resources-from Habitat Gardening in CNY

ARTICLES/ Websites

Leave the Leaves-Fall cleanup practices

Spring Cleanup-5 Things You Can Do To Help Native Pollinators-Hint: Wait for 5 consecutive days above 50 degrees to start spring clean up

How to Take Your Garden and Yard Back from the MosquitoesJessica Damiano

The Cavity Conservation InitiativeLearn about the value dead trees have for wildlife



Plant ID apps can be downloaded on your phone. They are very useful for identifying plants in the field. Below are the ones most commonly used by our members. With all plant ID apps, use the latin name, not the common name, when googling for more information.  For more information, see the rankings done by Michigan State University. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/plant-identification-theres-an-app-for-that-actually-several

Picture This: Best accuracy (73-90%) and easy to use. Has a paid (about $30/yr)  and non-paid version. Non-paid version does have an annoying number of ads.

iNaturalist: Free, has a little bit of a learning curve, about 50% accurate, has a community feedback feature. 

Grow It, Build It and Perennial Pages: These are actually two are websites, not an app, specifically for seedling identification, which the other apps do not do well. These sites show native plants at three different early stages to help you identify if what you see coming up is the native that you think you planted or something else. https://growitbuildit.com/identify-emerging-native-plants/ or https://delawareestuary.org/publications-2/perennial-pages/(scroll down for seedling guide)

FloraQuest: Advanced. Uses a dichotomous key for times that you really want to verify the identification. May not include every plant in our area but will include the vast majority. Download from the website Floraquest: Northern Tier