How & Why We Source Our Plants
Designs By Nature - Upper Peninsula Native Plants, LLC, is a licensed native plant nursery growing hardy plants by the gallon, quart, plug flat, or garden kit. We legally and with permission gather wild native seed and stock from the UP or grow wild-collected stock in our on-site production beds to ensure hardy UP genotypes. We gather responsibly - careful not to over harvest. We want native plants to thrive because of our efforts! Plants are propagated from seeds, division, or cuttings, with an eye to making sure our product represents genetic diversity and will produce healthy colonies in its new home.
Using genotypes from the UP is important because it ensures the plants you buy are adapted to our climate and well-suited to our wildlife, birds, and pollinators.
We also offer some Michigan native plants that are desirable for landscaping or wildlife for which we do not have a current UP source. For those offerings, we use only Michigan native genotypes from Designs By Nature, LLC, in Laingsburg, Michigan.
How to Purchase Plants
The plants we grow are listed below. Please check our Shop for availability. Quantities of some items are limited. Greenhouse circumstances may require substitutions. Looking to start or expand a whole native garden? Check out our Garden Kits as an economical way to get a brilliant variety of plants!
Plant orders are available for pick-up by appointment only starting in late May at our location just south of Marquette, Michigan. Please note we do not offer retail on-site sales and our greenhouse is not open to the public. Pick-up is by appointment only. Delivery may be available for your order. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! We are happy to help you select plants that meet your needs.
*Wild tobacco is not native to Michigan, but it has been cultivated here since before European settlement, and is naturalized in some parts of the lower peninsula. Judgement call?
*Prairie Blazing Star is not native to Michigan. It is a showy plains species that has escaped from cultivation. We have several other Blazing Stars native to Michigan and/or the UP.
*Maximilian Sunflower is is of uncertain origin. Michigan Flora says it is adventive (introduced) from more western states. It is found throughout Michigan and has been observed in the UP since at least the late 1800s. The Biota of North America Program (BONAP) and several other sources list it as native to Michigan. It is more certainly native in Minnesota, and is naturalized in the UP, so we consider "regional native" as the worst-case scenario. For a strictly native garden, select one of the other native Michigan sunflowers.