Tallgrass Prairie Center


Recommended wildflower guides


Many landowners ask us for help identifying the plants in their CRP planting.  Here are some recommendations for learning the plants:


Just getting started-- books with color photos, organized by flower color or time of flowering.  A limited species list from a state or region. 

Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest. Second edition.  Sylvan T Runkel and Dean M. Roosa.  University of Iowa Press.

Tallgrass Prairie Wildflowers: a Field Guide. Second edition. Doug Ladd and Frank Oberle. Falcon Press.


Intermediate -- organized by plant family and genus, illustrated with photos or detailed line drawings of flowers, and more options to choose from

Newcomb's Wildflower Guide.  Lawrence Newcomb and Gordon Morrison. Little, Brown. (Eastern US, includes woodland flowers too)

Prairie Plants of the University of Wisconsin - Madison Arboretum.  Theodore S. Cochrane, Kandis Elliot and Claudia Lipke. University of Wisconsin Press.

An Illustrated Guide to Iowa Prairie Plants, by Paul Christiansen and Mark Muller, University of Iowa Press


students with wildflower guides

UNI students with Professor Emeritus Daryl Smith, using wildflower guides.  These are designed to be used outdoors.