Which plants changed Minnesota and transformed how we live today? That was the big question behind a public education campaign spearheaded by Extension Horticulturist Mary Meyer, partnering with the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), and Extension.
From early February through April 15, the public nominated more than 100 different plants. A panel of experts met to determine the final ten, ranking them according to their impact in six categories: environmental; economic or industrial; cultural/spiritual; historical; sustenance; and landscape.
Without further ado, the top ten plants that changed Minnesota are: alfalfa, American elm, apple, corn, purple loosestrife, soybeans, turf and lawn grass, wheat, white pine, and wild rice.
You can view a slideshow with more information about each plant and its impact on the state.