Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


January 2017.  Our flora comes into better focus.... 

 Illinois Plants just got a lot more comprehensive.  We've added 17,000 highly accurate plant species occurrence records to our database from the Illinois Natural Inventory (INAI). Mainly conducted in 1976-8, this ground breaking, nationally recognized, and frequently copied effort scoured the state to find, and then survey, the best natural areas in existence using expert botanists. Because they found the highest biological quality natural areas in the state, it mostly contains native plant records.

Sadly, several of these areas and their plants have been destroyed, but even the historical records provide valuable information for research, restoration, and conservation. You can identify these records by their 'INAI.Original' descriptor in the Donor Database panel on the Species Distribution maps.  Many thanks to staff at the IDNR for helping to make this data available.

 Here are some past and present pictures from this groundbreaking 1970's INAI team. Illinois owes a great debt to these people for their meticulous, forwarding thinking work.


 Back Left to Right: John Bacone, John (Jack) White, Randy Nyboer, Don Kurz. Front L to R: Francis (Fran) Harty, John (Doc) Ebinger, Jerry Paulson. Taken at the beginning of the INAI Update.

 INAI staff training.jpg

 Left to Right: John (Jack) White, John Bacone (back), Jerry Paulson, Keith Wilson, Kathryn Kerr, and Doug Wallace. Taken at Harlem Hills N.P. an INAI site.

 INAI staff photo 1981.jpg

 Left to Right: Marlin Bowles, George Fell, Randy Nyboer, Jack White, Kathyrn Kerr, Max Hutchison, Don Kurz, Bill Pusateri, John Bacone, and John Schwegman. Taken in 1981 at the Natural Areas Association Conference in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

 Bog Bugaloo Kurz.jpg

  Left to Right: Randy Nyboer and Don Kurz. In an Illinois Bog!



Oct 1, 2015.  Happy 0th Birthday Illinois Plants!!



"While planting a tree is satisfying in itself, taking it through every stage of life is even more rewarding."  Daniel Butler How To Plant a Tree.


It has been an exciting year and a half bringing the Illinois Plants website and databases to the point where they are ready to set sail into the wild seas of the internet.  Many people have made this project happen, and we all hope that our work brings useful and easy information about the wild plants of the prairie state!    

The current version of the site is new and surely has a variety of programming glitches, botanical inaccuracies, and design flaws that we hope to fix.  You can help is in fixing them by contacting us to let us know of particular errors.  Already (in the first day of our existence) we learned that many aspects of the site do not display on Safari for Mac users.  We now know this and will fix it.  Please let us know of any fixes we can make or information that we can add to make this site the most useful for you!