Iowa Native Plants


Iowa Native Plants

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Find the best selection of indigenous species for the State of Iowa here at Nature Hills Nursery and support native ecosystems in the Hawkeye State!

Choosing native trees for your State means you will know your tree will thrive where it is well suited to climate and soil because they originated there! They need less water once established. Native selections establish faster and tolerate the changing climate, weather, and anything else your State may have to offer.

Feed pollinators pollen and nectar, seeds for songbirds, and provide shelter, food, and forage for a wide variety of wildlife like the State bird, the American Goldfinch!

Best Iowa Native Trees

iowa trees

Iowa is a sea of grassland and rolling hills, Loess hills, plains, and prairies, with some riparian areas along rivers, and streams, like the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Ranging from USDA growing zones 4 to 7, Iowa has cold winters and warm summers with a wide range of fluctuating temperatures throughout the year as the jet stream blows through, bringing strong storms, occasional tornados, and heavy snowfall at times.

Find your Hardiness Zone, and choose a tree that has a range that includes yours! Check with your local County Extension Office for more information if needed and for the many microclimates within these zones.

Best Native Evergreen Trees For Iowa

Check out these Iowa native coniferous evergreen trees that keep their leaves year-round for privacy, slow down the wind, stand up to storms, help block the drifting snow, and add interest during the winter months.

  • Balsam Fir Tree
  • Eastern Red Cedar Tree (Redcedar)
  • Eastern White Pine

Native Flowering Trees to Grow in Iowa

Feed pollinators and hummingbirds nectar and pollen they evolved alongside in your State! Many of these trees are host plants for native pollinator larvae too!

  • American Basswood/Linden Trees
  • American Plum/Wild Plum Tree & Chickasaw Plum
  • Black Cherry Tree
  • Black Locust Tree
  • Dogwood - Pagoda, Gray, Roughleaf, Silky & Swamp 
  • Eastern Redbud Tree
  • Pussy Willow Tree
  • Tulip Poplar/Tulip Tree
  • Witch Hazel (American Witchhazel)

What Are Native Shade Trees in Iowa?

shade trees for iowa

You need a good strong shade tree that handles snow load. Some fall color and food for wildlife is a bonus! The mighty Bur Oak is the Iowa state tree and is sure to give you all the shade you can handle for generations!

  • American Chestnut
  • American Elm Tree
  • American Hornbeam 
  • American Hop Hornbeam
  • American Sycamore
  • Ash - Green, Mountain, White & Wafer Ash
  • Birch Trees - River & Paper Bark
  • Black Willow
  • Box Elder Tree (Boxelder)
  • Ohio Buckeye Trees 
  • Cottonwood/Eastern Cottonwood Tree
  • Hackberry/Common Hackberry Trees & Sugarberry Tree
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree
  • Maple Trees - Black, Silver, Red, & Sugar
  • Northern Catalpa Tree
  • Oak Trees - Black, Blackjack, Bur, Chinquapin, Northern Red, Pin, Shingle, Swamp White, & White
  • Quaking Aspen Trees
  • Sassafras Tree
  • Yellowwood Tree

Native Fruit & Nut Trees in Iowa

We love edible landscaping trees that look great and feed you and your local wildlife. Plant a few of these trees in your double-duty hedgerow for wildlife and for you!

  • American Persimmon
  • American Plum/Wild Plum Tree & Chickasaw Plum
  • Black Cherry Tree
  • Black Walnut Tree
  • Hazelnut/Native American Filbert
  • Bitternut, Butternut, Pignut, Red, Shellbark & Shagbark Hickory Trees
  • Paw Paw (Pawpaw) Trees
  • Red Mulberry Tree
  • Allegheny, Downy & Saskatoon Serviceberry

Much Needed Natives!

Help keep your State's native biodiversity intact by planting trees native to your area! Nature Hills is committed to helping you preserve your State’s unique beauty with plants and trees that are sure to do well in your garden without impacting your native landscape!

Whether you are adding shade or flowers, privacy, or a long-lasting legacy to your landscape, Nature Hills is here to help you find the perfect tree for your Iowa landscape!

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