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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota


This guide is intended to provide beginners with an overview of North Dakota's prairie wildflowers and grasses. It is by no means an exclusive list but it outlines many of the common prairie species in the state. It is not a scientific key but it does include descriptive clues for identification and other interesting facts. The flowers have been arranged into three primary groups based on when they bloom. The grasses follow at the end. We hope it will help you identify the prairie wildflower and grass species and appreciate why it is important to continue conservation and restoration efforts of prairies in North Dakota.

Learning to identify prairie plants can be a very rewarding experience. This guide will get you started on over 50 species. Since there are hundreds of prairie plants in North Dakota there are a couple of publications which can provide you with a more in depth study. They are: Wildflowers of the Northern Great Plains by F.R. Vance, J.R. Jowsey and J.S. McLean (ISBN #: 0-8166-1351-6) and Grassland Plants of South Dakota and the Northern Great Plains by James R. Johson and Gary E. Larson (ISBN # 0-913062-06-5). Both of these guides are excellent publications for North Dakota plants.

  Photo: Woman with field guide observing wildflowers in the field

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