Vascular Plants of Iowa is newest addition to the Iowa Digital Library

When anyone who works with the vascular plants of Iowa—researchers, conservationists, teachers, agricultural specialists, horticulturists, gardeners—have needed information about the state’s plants, they have turned to Lawrence Eiler and Dean Roosa’s The Vascular Plants of Iowa: An Annotated Checklist and Natural History. This meticulously researched volume was first published by the University of Iowa Press in 1994.

Today, through a collaborative project with The University of Iowa Libraries, Vascular Plants has been digitized and pulled together in an easily searchable online research tool ( Like the printed book, the digital version consists of an extended essay on the natural history of the vascular plants of Iowa, a discussion of their origins, a description of the state’s natural regions, and a painstakingly annotated checklist of Iowa vascular plants.

All known vascular plants that grow and persist in Iowa without cultivation are included in the checklist. These are native plants, primarily, but a large number of introduced species have become established throughout the state. Also included are Iowa’s major crop plants and some of its common garden plants. The lengthy checklist provides an accurate and comprehensive listing of species names and common names, synonyms, distribution, habitat, abundance, and origin; county names are given for very rare species, and the most complete information has been provided for all rare plants and troublesome species.

The wealth of information in this well-organized, practical volume describes more than two thousand species from Adiantum pedatum, the northern maidenhair fern of moist woods and rocky slopes, to Zannichellia palustris, the horned pondweed of shallow marshes and coldwater streams—makes it possible to identify Iowa plants correctly.

The print version of the book is available for purchase on the UI Press website .