The Minnesota Wildflowers Information Organization


The Minnesota Wildflowers web site began as a private endeavor by Catherine (Katy) Chayka in 2006, in response to the poor resources available to the general public learning about plants growing wild in Minnesota. The initial web site was launched in March 2007 with approximately 15 species. In 2009 with nearly 300 species published, Peter Dziuk joined as a collaborator, contributing a private collection of approximately 40,000 plant images and the two began a 10-year partnership managing the web site together. As of December, 2023, over 1800 plant species are profiled with the goal of recording all 2100+ species in Minnesota then branching into neighboring states, becoming a complete reference for the entire Upper Midwest.

In 2011, the decision was made to form a nonprofit entity to provide some security for the web site as a public resource in perpetuity. Minnesota Wildflowers Information (MWI) was incorporated on August 8, 2011. The application for 501(c)(3) public charity status was approved June 29, 2012, allowing tax-deductible donations from the general public and setting the foundation to explore grant opportunities. MWI subsequently received six years of funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (lottery money), which ended June 30, 2020. Public donations have provided all funding since then.


The MWI mission is to educate Minnesotans on our native plants, raise awareness on threats like invasive species, and inspire people to explore our great state, appreciate its natural heritage, and become involved in preserving it.

Board of Directors

  • Catherine (Katy) Chayka, President and Board Chair
  • Victoria Ranua, Treasurer
  • Cora Rost, Secretary
  • John Thayer, Board member

Public Records

Additional documents available on request.