An abundance of information exists about insects and native plants, so this is by no means an exhaustive list of resources! We would merely like to introduce you to some of our favorite books and websites, and provide a useful starting point for new enthusiasts.


BUGGUIDE.NET – BugGuide.Net is an online resource devoted to North American insects, spiders and their kin, offering identification, images, and life history information.

MONARCHWATCH.ORG – Monarch Watch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study of the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and its habitat and migration, and education and engagement of the public for Monarch conservation.

NABA.ORG – The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) is a nonprofit organization working to increase public enjoyment and conservation of butterflies in North America, by promoting butterfly gardening, observation, photography and citizen science projects.

XERCES.ORG – The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.

Recommended Reading

  • Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America-David Beadle/Seabrooke Leckie
  • A Photographic Field Guide to the Butterflies in the Kansas City Region-Betsy Betros
  • The Gardener’s Butterfly Book: A Guide to Identifying, Understanding, and Attracting Garden Butterflies-Alan Branhagen
  • Native Plants of the Midwest: A Comprehensive Guide to the 500 Best Species for the Garden-Alan Branhagen
  • Butterflies Through Binoculars-The East: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Eastern North America-Jeffrey Glassberg
  • A Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Butterflies-Jim Mason [Note: This booklet is available to download FREE from the Great Plains Nature Center website ( or copies may be ordered from the GPNC gift shop.]
  • Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants-Douglas Tallamy
  • Gardening for Butterflies-The Xerces Society
  • Caterpillars of Eastern North America-David Wagner

Native Plant Identification & Gardening Information

Deep Roots KC (
Grow Native! (
Kansas Native Plant Society (
Missouri Native Plant Society (

Native Plant Retailers

Missouri Wildflowers Nursery (
Prairie & Wetland Center (
Flower Farm (
Vinland Valley Nursery (

Tree seedlings also may be purchased from:
Missouri Department of Conservation (
Kansas Forest Service (

Many garden clubs and nature organizations in our region hold native plant sales during spring and fall planting seasons (usually mid-March to mid-May and September). By patronizing these, you can support the work of your favorite nature groups while also helping wildlife!