Gale Family Library

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102



Library Hours

Tuesday: 9 am-8 pm
Wednesday: 9 am-4 pm
Thursday: 9 am-4 pm
Friday: 9 am-4 pm
Saturday: 9 am-4 pm
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Holiday Hours


$6 per day

Using the Library

Collections OnlineTimepieces


Gardening with Minnesota’s Wildflowers and Native Plants


Hummingbirds and Lilies painting, 1971

The Minnesota Historical Society Library has a wide selection of books, art, manuscripts and pamphlet collections detailing Minnesota’s wildflowers and native plants.  From nineteenth century scholarly treatises on prairie ecology to current Department of Natural Resources publications about restoration gardening and conservation efforts, the book collection encompasses more than 150 years of collective botanical and horticultural knowledge.  In the library, you can also view the organizational records of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, flip through the Minnesota Garden Flower Society’s scrapbooks and contemplate the nature writings of Dietrich Lange.  
The following list is only a starting point for resources about Minnesota’s wildflowers and native plants.  For more information or to begin your own research, visit the library today!

Planting Guides

Landscaping With Native Plants of Minnesota, by Lynn M. Steiner.  St. Paul, Minn.: Voyageur Press, 2005.
MNHS call number: SB439.24 .M65 S74 2005
Going Native: A Prairie Restoration Handbook for Minnesota Landowners, by Rebecca Kilde.  St. Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, Section of Ecological Services, Scientific and Natural Areas Program, 2000.
MNHS call number: SB439.24 M65 K55 2000
Landscaping for Wildlife, by Carrol L. Henderson.  St. Paul, Minn.: Nongame Wildlife Program, Section of Wildlife, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources, 1987.  
MNHS call number: SB472 .H46 1987
The Root Book: A Concise Guide to Planting and Growing Wildflowers and Hardy Ferns, by Norma Phillips.  Grand Rapids, Minn.: N. Phillips, 1984.  
MNHS call number: SB439 .P44 1984

Sweet William Phlox, 1937Never can I forget the pungent, almost resinous odor of those sunlit meadows.  The westwind was laden with a perfume whose memory stirs my blood after these many years.  And I can still see the hardy bright prairie flowers sway in the breeze.

–“Virgin Prairies” by Dietrich Lange 


Field Guides

Wildflowers of the St. Croix Valley, by Juanita Marotta.  Taylors Falls, Minn.: Panda Publishing, Inc., 2004.
MNHS call number: QK168 .M37 2004
Wildflowers of Minnesota, by Stan Tekiela.  Cambridge, Minn.: Adventure Publishing, Inc., 1999.  MNHS call number: QK168 .T44 1999
Pink moccasin flower, approx. 1910Orchids of Minnesota, by Welby R. Smith.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.  
MNHS call number: QK495 .O64 S64 1993
Spring Flora of Minnesota: Including Common Cultivated Plants, by Thomas Morley.  Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1969.  
MNHS call number: QK168 .M77 1969
Guide to the Spring Flowers of Minnesota, by F.E. Clements, C.O. Rosendahl, and F.K. Butters.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1908.  
MNHS call number: QK168 .M7 no.1
Woodland Secrets: Brief Biographies of Our Wild Flowers Grouped by Families, by Lilian M. Voigt Cherry.  Minneapolis: School Education Company, 1905.  
MNHS call number: QK168 .C52 

Verse from Woodland Secrets, 1905

Manuscript and Pamphlet Collections

Girls picking flowers, White Bear, approx. 1890Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary Organization Records, 1878-2012.  
Records documenting the history of the garden; its volunteer support organization, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden; its founder, Eloise Butler; and her successor, Martha Crone.
MNHS call number: See Online Finding Aid
Dietrich Lange Papers, 1889-1940.  
Correspondence, clippings, notebooks, diaries, and manuscripts of novels (1912-1925) and articles by Lange, a Minnesota author, naturalist, and educator. They focus mainly on his summer excursions into the wilderness to study nature, and the writings that resulted from those excursions, particularly his observations on wildlife and its conservation and his boys’ outdoor stories relating to Indian life and Minnesota animals and plants.
MNHS call number: See Online Finding Aid
Minnesota Garden Flower Society Records, 1904-1988.  
The collection includes historical information (undated and 1924-1979), articles of incorporation and bylaws (undated and 1922-1979), minutes (1904-1978), correspondence and reports of the officers (1904-1981), financial records (1905-1980), reports and correspondence of various committees (1919-1980), and membership lists (1905-1977).  There are also a fairly complete file of records relating to the society’s annual garden show (1929-1970), newspaper clippings and magazine articles (1915-1977), scrapbooks (1934-1964), meeting notices (1918-1982), and photographs (1914-1935).
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (filed in ALPHA notebooks)
Garden Club of Ramsey County, 1912-2000.  
Constitutions and bylaws, minutes, correspondence, membership directories, events and program files, newspaper clippings, committee reports, histories, and financial records of a garden club located in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The objectives of the club are to stimulate the knowledge and love of horticulture, floriculture, landscape and vegetable gardening among amateurs; aid in the protection of native plants and trees; and encourage civic planting. The club is affiliated with the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.
MNHS call number: See Online Finding Aid
Planter's Guide pamphlet coverPamphlets Relating to Nurseries.  
Contains catalogs, planting guides, promotional materials, and related publications from Minnesota nurseries. Also included is an 1858-1859 catalog from a Cleveland, Ohio nursery that marketed to the Upper Midwest.
MNHS call number: SB118.48
Pamphlets Relating to Flowers and Ornamental Plants.  
Contains pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to garden flower societies; flower shows; various species of flowers, perennials, ground cover plants, and native plants, and their suppliers; shrubs and yard trees; lawn and yard care; and related topics.
MNHS call number: SB403-SB449
Pamphlets Relating to Gardens and Gardening.  
Contains pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to gardening and landscaping in general, garden clubs, gardening handbooks and guides, garden centers and other suppliers, and related topics.
MNHS call number: SB450-SB467