In 2012 a committee of experts chose the ten plants that most changed Minnesota from nearly five hundred citizen nominations, hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The idea that plants, as few as ten, could shape a state and how it developed economically, culturally, and historically, is at the core of the Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota project, which also includes a companion website and a popular freshman seminar at the University of Minnesota. With careful review by more than thirty experts and scientists and with research drawn from newspaper and journal reports, historical photos, diaries, and interviews, Mary Hockenberry Meyer and Susan Davis Price highlight the importance of the selected plants and their impact—both positive and negative—in the development and future of our state. The plants are the apple, alfalfa, the American elm, corn, lawn or turfgrass, purple loosestrife, soybeans, wheat, wild rice, and white pine.
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