Source materials on native plants for the Niagara Greenway  (last revised 3/2010)


Primary goals of the Greenway Ecological Standing Committee for the Niagara River Greenway are to restore healthy native plant communities and increase food and habitat for native and migratory wildlife. The following list includes some of the sources of information and materials available for this purpose. This is a developing list. We welcome new sources of information from project proponents.


Please note that the Niagara Gorge is a botanically unique area with many rare, locally-adapted species.  Any restoration projects planned for the gorge or gorge rim area will require special review.


NYS and Niagara Regional information


·   Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. Buffalo and Niagara Rivers Habitat Assessment and Conservation Framework. BNR, 2008. For information on habitat and species in the Buffalo and Niagara River Watersheds. See


·   Eckel, P.M. For many publications on the flora of the Niagara River and Gorge area.  See, for ex.,  and


·   Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants, (NYS Museum, 1997).  The DOT’s  Native Plants for landscape Use in NY, is based on the list by NYS botanist Richard Mitchell.  See


·   Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. Niagara Peninsula Plant Guide.   Although focused on the Ontario side of the Niagara River, the info on plant characteristics, growth conditions, wildlife and ecology is largely relevant to WNY.


·   NYS Conservation Department. Biological Survey of the Erie-Niagara System, 1928.  This document contains a list of the native aquatic plant species found in the Niagara River.  


·   Reschke, Carol.  Ecological Communities of New York State. NYS DEC, 2nd edition, 2002.  Provides information on historical plant communities across the state.


·   Zenkert, Charles A.  Flora of the Niagara Frontier Region (BMS, 1934) and supplements with Richard Zander, (BMS, 1975 and 1979). Other Buffalo Museum of Science botanical publications include Floristics and Environmental Planning in Western New York and Adjacent Ontario by Richard H. Zander (BMS, 1976).


Plant sources


·   Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District. Trees and shrubs are selected for their wildlife value--not all are native.


·   Ernst Conservation Seed, Inc. in Meadville, PA.  Provided native plants used at restoration sites on the Buffalo River.


·   Niagara County Soil and Water Conservation District. Order trees from their website.


·   NYS DEC. Saratoga Tree Nursery, Saratoga Springs, NY.


·   The Plantsmen Nursery, Groton, NY (near Ithaca). Mostly native, nursery propagated plants from locally collected seed—from grasses to trees.


·   RPM Ecosystems. Dryden, NY. They carry Root Propagation Method-grown native trees and shrubs.


·   Southern Tier Consulting for habitat restoration:


·   USDA Plant Materials Center, Big Flats, NY.


·   White Oak Nursery, Canandaigua--for native trees and shrubs.


Other good references


·   American Society of Landscape Architects has developed requirements for sustainable sites accreditation including guidance on native & non-native plants.


·   Baines, Joel. Native Plants for Native Birds: A Guide to Planting for Birds In and Around Ithaca New York. Ithaca, Cayuga Bird Club, 2009.


·   Donat, Martin. Bioengineering Techniques for Streambank Restoration, 1995. Looks at root to shoot volumes and other plant characteristics for specific riparian environments.


·   Hightshoe, Gary L.  Native Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Urban and Rural America: A Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers.


·   Leopold, Donald J. Native Plants of the Northeast: A Guide to Gardening and Conservation. Timber Press, Portland, 2005.


·   The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.   A very informative and easy to use website for the gardener or restorationist.


·   Maine Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants. Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants and their Common Native Lookalikes, 2007.


·   USFWS, Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed.