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Midwestern Wetland Flora

Field Office Guide to Plant Species

Purple Milkweed

USDA - Soil Conservation Service
Midwest National Technical Center
Lincoln, Nebraska


The swampbuster provision of the Food Security Act of 1985 requires the Soil Conservation Service to make wetland/converted wetland determinations based on the presence of hydric soils and hydrophytic vegetation. This is necessary to assist the United States Department of Agriculture program agencies in determining producer eligibility for USDA program benefits. The material contained in this illustrated wetland guide will enable persons, regardless of their botanical background, to identify the plants included in this guide.

Three hundred species of vascular plants were chosen for inclusion in this guide after consultation with the Ecological Science and Planning Staff of the Soil Conservation Service Midwest Regional Technical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. A decision was made to exclude all species that are true aquatics that live in water, because they are obvious wetland species. Also excluded were those species that most people readily recognize, such as cattail, lizard's tail, and others.


This resource is based on the following source:

U.S. Department of Agriculture.  No date.  Midwestern wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species.  U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln, Nebraska.  Unpaginated.

This resource should be cited as:

U.S. Department of Agriculture.  No date.  Midwestern wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species.  U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln, Nebraska.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/floramw/index.htm (Version 16JUL1997).


Organization and Use of this Guide

The 300 plant species in this guide are arranged by groups. Within each group they are further arranged alphabetically by genus, and then alphabetically by species within each genus. The common and scientific name given for each plant follow the National Wetland Plant List prepared by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 1987. The scientific name consists of two Latin names. The first is called the genus name, the second is the species.

The name is followed by a photograph of the plant. Following the photograph is information about the plant, including characteristics of the growth form, stems, leaves, flowers (sepals, petals, stamens, pistils), fruits and seeds. Useful information or other features of the plant are included under Notes. This is followed by a black-and-white illustration of the entire plant along with a close-up illustration of one of the parts of the plant.

To use the guide, one identifies the plant to group, either with the key or from experience and prior knowledge, and then refers to the plant description. If the plant is not encountered in the descriptions, it is obviously not covered by this guide, and the investigator must consult other references.


Printed copies of this guide are available through:

Hoosier Heartland, 5995
Lakeside Blvd. Suite 5, 
Indianapolis, IN 46278-1996 
Phone 317-290-3250.  

Cost is $52.50 plus $4.00 shipping.


Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
(Download) floramw.zip ( 12M) -- Midwestern Wetland Flora
Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

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