More resources to get started

At St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre, we are continually working to help educate more people on the science and benefits of ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation. 

To help you get started, we suggest to first learn more about why what you plant matters. We've also put together a quick round up of resources to explore more information about native plants and biodiversity conservation in Ontario.

We'll share more here soon so please check back for more updates. If you have more to share or add, you can also let us know by reaching out to our team


Check out these links to learn about seed collection by Ontario seed zone:

Seed Strategy Projects from Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance

 Provides information about seed strategy efforts we've been involved with to support biodiversity conservation efforts Ontario wide.

Ontario Tree Seed Zones from the Government of Ontario

Get familiar with Ontario seed zones used to categorize species genetics by area. This resource is frequently used for seed collecting and propagating plants to use for restoration.

Native Plants for Biodiversity Conservation

 Learn about conservation efforts we can all take part in, here in Ontario: 

Planting native hepaticas at home

World Wildlife Fund Canda - Species Conservation

WWF Canada has great insights to share about the importance of conservation and easy ways to get started at home whether you live in wide open areas or in the city.

Monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant

Bringing Nature Home

First introduced to us by bug scientist's Douglas W. Tallamy's "Bringing Nature Home" book - which we have available in our office - this site has taken off into a whole grassroots initiative committed to supporting natural ecosystems with native plants.

New England Aster visited by a bee

Toronto Star, Homes - "Garden Outside the Lines" by


Native Plants Indentification Guides

We love these easy-to-use and thorough guides to native plants in our area available at the following links:

Minnesota Wildflowers

Our team routinely pours over this guide to help identify seeds in the field and in our seed lab. It's a great and important tool that goes well beyond wildflowers to cover grasses, sedges and more. It's enables us to check out a wide range of species at the touch of a quick Google search.

Cardinal flower in bloom

Illinois Wildflowers

Another resource we commonly use to get all kinds of great, in-depth information on species in a similar environment to ours in Ontario.

Ontario Wildflowers and Ontario Trees & Shrubs

These two guides go hand-in-hand to provide a comprehensive native species list with detailed profiles to see you can find here in Ontario.

Yellow maple leaves in autumn

The Arboretum at the University of Guelph

Learn more about the woody species that call Ontario home as well as a range of other interesting specimens. The University of Guelph is home to more than "2000 different taxa of woody plants" with the spotlight on Ontario's natives. You can check out their website for lots of interesting facts and a virtual tour!

Butterfly on a blazing star

Ontario Tree Atlas and Species at Risk from the Government of Ontario

Two sites brought to you by our local Ontario government that contain valuable information about the trees and most vulnerable species in our province.