• Common Sense Conservation Since 1938
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To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana's wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action.

Native Plants of Indiana

Native Indiana plants are best suited for the soil and weather conditions in our area. As a result, native plants require less fertilizer, fewer pesticides, and less water. Native plants are necessary for healthy wildlife populations and help prevent the spread of invasive, exotic species.

On this page, you will find lists of selected native trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and nectar plants appropriate for your garden or Backyard Wildlife Habitat. We also list invasive exotic species you should avoid planting and remove from your property whenever possible.

The list of native plant life in Indiana is long. Some plants are very common, while others are endangered. All can be threatened by invasive species if we do not diligently keep their populations under control.

Native Plant Sales

Through our partnership with local Indiana Native Plant Nursery, Cardno JFNew, we offer a variety of native plant kits, trees, shrubs and seed for sale. Your purchase supports IWF and Indiana’s native wildlife!

Plant kits being offered for 2014:
Native Plant Kit Descriptions - Full List
Bird and Butterfly Kit
Rain Garden Kit
Shade Kit
Wetland Kit
Prairie Kit
Priarie Grass Kit
Pollinator Kit

Bare Root Trees and Shrubs being offered for 2014: American Highbush Cranberry, Smooth Serviceberry, Elderberry, Shagbark Hickory, Buttonbush, Silky Dogwood, Spicebush, White Oak

Also being offered: "Time to Go WILD" Seed Mix - Includes 19 native flowering species.

Native Plant Sales FAQs



Click Here to PRINT your ORDER FORM 


Is your yard filled with native plants? Get it certified through our unique Wildlife Friendly Certification Program.

Indiana Native Plants

Click on the name of any plant listed for more details!

The Red Maple is a beautiful and
popular tree native to Indiana.
Its colorful Fall foliage display
makes it a favorite and a perfect
addition to your Wildlife Habitat!

Native Trees


Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana
Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis
White Pine, Pinus strobus


Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis
Tulip Poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera
Shagbark Hickory, Carya ovata
Red Maple, Acer rubrum
Oaks, Quercus (all spp.)
Walnut or Butternut, Juglans
Redbud, Cercis canadensis
Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica

Native Shrubs

Serviceberry, Amelanchier
New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus
Spicebush, Lindera benzoin
Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius
Sumac, Rhus
Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis
Gray Dogwood, Cornus racemosa
Silky Dogwood, Cornus amomum
Virginia Sweetspire, Itea virginica
Winterberry Holly, Ilex verticillata
Buttonbush, Cephalanthus
Coralberries, Symphoricarpos
Viburnums, Viburnum (most spp.)


Trumpet Creeper

Native Vines

Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus
Trumpet Creeper, Campsis radicans
Wooly Dutchman's Pipe, Aristolochia

Indian Grass

Native Grasses

Switch grass, Panicum virgatum
Indian grass, Sorghastrum nutans
Little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium
Big bluestem, Andropogon gerardii
Northern sea oats, Chasmanthium latifolium

Native Nectar Plants

Nearly every blooming tree, shrub,
perennial, or annual will provide some
nectar for butterflies and other insects.
This list includes favorites in many

Redbud, Cercis canadensis
Lilac, Syringa vulgaris
Dogwood, Cornus spp.
Catmint, Nepeta mussinii
Bee balm, Monarda spp.
Phlox, Phlox spp.
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea
Summer Sweet, Clethra
Liatris, Liatris spp.
Goldenrod, Solidago spp.
Bluebeard, Caryopteris
Aster, Aster spp.

  White Aster

Butterfly Larva Food Sources

Nectar only meets part of butterflies' food requirements. Many species lay their eggs only on specific plants, and to keep these butterflies in your habitat, one needs to provide larval, or caterpillar, food as well.

Monarchs are common and particularly interesting butterflies. Their migration to Mexico can be followed on Monarch Watch. Attract them to your yard with their specific larval food, any of five kinds of Milkweed: common, showy, swamp, butterfly weed, or annual Blood Flower.

Pesticides ravage butterflies, their eggs, and caterpillars when sprayed on flowers, trees, shrubs, and lawns. Try to accept some damage on your leaves rather than using harmful chemicals.

Invasive Exotic Plants To Avoid

A brief word about invasive exotic plants
Though sometimes attractive, non-native plants that are introduced into the Hoosier environment pose a threat to established plant life. Some exotics can grow exponentially, crowding out native plant life. This rapid growth in turn disturbs the natural food chain for wildlife in our state.

Autumn Olive, Elaeagnus
Purple Loosestrife, Lithrum
Burning Bush, Euonymus
Reed Canary Grass, Phalaris
Highbush Cranberry, Viburmum opulus
Don't confuse with native American 
Cranberrybush, V. trilobum )

Honeysuckle species including:
Japanese, Lonicera japonica
Amur, L. maackii
Tartarian, L. tatarica