Read a book on the natural history of your landscape.
Minnesota's Natural Heritage: An Ecological Perspective. J.R. Tester. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 1995.
The Prairie World. D. Costello. Thomas Y. Crowell Co., New York, 1969. 242p. History and description of the North American Prairie, including the geography, waters, plants, mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, and human interactions. ISBN 0816609381
Tallgrass Prairie. J. Madson. Falcon Press MT. 1993. 128p. ISBN 1560442239 Excellent, readable text and photo essay on prairie ecology.
Visit natural areas.
Wild and Beautiful: A Guide to the Native Wildflowers of Southeastern Minnesota. Joanne Gellerman, et. al. Austin, MN, Institute for the Development of Educational Alternatives, 1996, 16 page brochure which folds to fit in a glove compartment. 1-800-828-1231. Includes map of the area showing public wildflower sites, site descriptions, information on when and where to find specific wildflowers, and folklore and poetry inspired by wildflowers.
A Guide to Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Areas. Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas Program. 1995. St. Paul, MN, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Section of Wildlife, Scientific and Natural Areas Program. Illustrated.
Minnesota Chapter Preserve Guide. The Nature Conservancy (United States). Minnesota Chapter. 1988. Minneapolis, MN. Public Recreation Information Maps. PRIM maps show all public lands and facilities within an area. For more information call 1-800-766-6000 or 1-800-657-3757.
Consult species selection guides.
Prairie Wildflowers Native to Minnesota's Natural Regions Minnesota Dept. of Transportation. Contains species lists for each ecological region of the state.
Trees and Shrubs For Minnesota Landscapes and Roadsides. Minnesota Dept. of Transportation. Interactive CD-ROM searches its database for species meeting your criteria, including native to Minnesota, site conditions and plant characteristics such as height. Color photos and facts available for each species. Call 651-779-5076 for CD information or to order.
Trees and Large Shrubs: Species Native to Minnesota's Ecological Regions. DNR Forestry, 1200 Warner Road, St. Paul, MN 55106. 651-772-7925
Recommended Trees For: Southeast Minnesota, an Ecosystem Approach. G. Johnson and K. Himanga. University of Minnesota, Minnesota Extension Service bulletin FO-6575-S 1996. To order bulletins call 651-625-8173. For World Wide Web MES educational information- http://www.mes.umn.edu/
Plants in Prairie Communities. R. Robison, M. H. Meyer and D. White. University of Minnesota, Minnesota Extension Service, bulletin AG-FO-3238-C, 1995. This bulletin describes three typical prairie communities: wet, mesic, and dry, and the plants found in each. Includes 158 of the more significant north central U.S. species.