Regional Plant Lists

Three regional plant lists for Michigan

To make our information about native plants more specific, we’ve split Michigan into three large units that include southern Lower Michigan, northern Lower Michigan, and the Upper Peninsula. Each region has different climate and soils, which support different groups of plant species. The southern Lower Peninsula historically contained a wide mixture of plant communities including broad areas of beech-maple and oak-hickory forests interspersed with open oak savanna, prairie, and wetland ecosystems. The northern Lower Peninsula was dominated by sugar maple, beech, Eastern hemlock and white pine forests, and also had plant communities that depended on fire, including jack pine and oak-pine barrens. The Upper Peninsula was dominated by forest, with maple, beech and birch in the uplands, and cedar, spruce, and tamarack in wetter areas. These descriptions are broad; each of these areas contains several smaller regions and a number of natural community types.

For each of these three areas of the state, we have compiled a native plants list. Each list includes about 50 of the native plant species most likely to support multiple ecosystem services for the given region of Michigan. The lists are meant as a place to start if you are beginning to learn about native plants and considering a planting of your own. For more information about these species, as well as others to consider, contact your local native plant producer.

Plants for natural shorelines

The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership also offers native plant lists for those with land along lakes, rivers and streams. Their lists cover aquatic, wetland and upland habitats.