Native Plant Communities

East-central MN Species Lists

This report includes species lists for 31 native plant communities that occur in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area and were developed by Hannah Dunevitz of the Minnesota DNR and Cynthia Lane, formerly of Great River Greening and now with Ecological Strategies, LLC. The species lists were derived from vegetation plot data, now available for the first time. They can be used as reference lists for planning ecological restoration projects, and will also help with the identification and understanding of native plant communities.

Additional benefits include the introduction of the DNR’s revised native plant community classification system, lists of invasive exotic plants that occur in each community, and lists of rare plants that occur in each community. The text that accompanies the lists provides ample information about the new plant community classification and how to use the species lists.

Complete Species Lists for Terrestrial and Palustrine Native Plant Communities in East-central Minnesota This document has a detailed explanation of the project and descriptions of native plant communities. Please read this before exploring the lists.

Species List Report

Central Dry Oak-Aspen (Pine) Woodland (21KB)
Southern Dry-Mesic Oak (Maple) Woodland (59KB)
Central Mesic Hardwood Forest (Eastern) (25KB)
Southern Dry Mesic Oak Forest (25KB)
Southern Mesic Maple-Basswood Forest (30KB)
Southern Dry-Mesic Oak Forest (31KB)
Southern Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forest (.26KB)
Southern Floodplain Forest (38KB)
Southern Terrace Forest (23KB)
Northern Very Wet Ash Swamp (27KB)
Northern Wet Ash Swamp (22KB)
Northern Wet Cedar Forest (24KB)
Southern Wet Ash Swamp (27KB)
Southern Rich Conifer Swamp (29KB)
Northern Poor Conifer Swamp (18KB)
Northern Rich Alder Swamp (44KB)
Sedge Meadow (27KB)
Willow Dogwood Shrub Swamp (25KB)
Southern Seepage Meadow Carr (28KB)
Northern Poor Fen (18KB)
Northern Rich Fen Basin (23KB)
Prairie Extremely Rich Fen (24KB)
Northern Mixed Cattail Marsh (41KB)
Northern Bulrush Spikerush Marsh (42KB)
Southern Wet Prairie (28KB)
Dry Sand Gravel Prairie Southern (55KB)
Dry Bedrock Bluff Prairie Southern (26KB)
Dry Barrens Prairie Southern (48KB)
Dry Sand Gravel Oak Savanna (27KB)
Dry Barrens Oak Savanna Southern (54KB)
Mesic Prairie Southern (30KB)

There is also more information on native plant communities through the DNR’s website at:


For more information about this project, or for hard copies of this report, contact:

Hannah Dunevitz Texler, Regional Plant Ecologist
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Ecological and Water Resources Division
1200 Warner Road, Saint Paul, MN 55106
Phone: 651-259-5811

Cynthia Lane, Conservation Ecologist
Ecological Strategies, LLC
P.O. Box 3, Maiden Rock, WI 54750
Phone: 715-448-4331

Deborah Karasov, Executive Director
Great River Greening
251 Starkey St, Suite 2200, Saint Paul, MN 55107
Phone: 651-665-9500


Descriptions of Natural Communities in the River Valleys

Natural Communities:

Deciduous Forest
Mixed Coniferous-Deciduous Forest
Deciduous Woodland
Deciduous Savanna
Upland Prairie
Floodplain Forest
Hardwood Swamp Forest
Shrub Swamp
Emergent Marsh
Wet Meadow / Fen
Primary Community
Aquatic Community

Descriptions of Natural Plant Communities in the River Valleys (MS Word 162k)