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Common Plants of Itasca State Park

Authors Anita Cholewa, Bell Museum curator of temperate plants, and David Biesboer, director of the university’s Itasca Biological Station, set out to create a simple, user-friendly guide designed for visitors to the park. The book can also be used as a resource guide for the urban gardener working with native Minnesota plants.

The 50-square mile Itasca State Park is known for its old red and white pines — many of which are more than 200 years old — and is one of the most popular travel destinations in Minnesota. The park is situated at the source of the Mississippi River and is home to 157 lakes and more than 1,500 acres of wetlands.

The guide, organized alphabetically by common plant names and generously illustrated with full color photos, sells for $26.95. It’s available for purchase at Itasca State Park Visitor Center, on the Bell Museum’s Web site at, or by calling (612) 624-4112.