Great Plains Botanical Gardens, Smithwick, SD

Great Plains Native Plant Society  

Claude Barr, who homesteaded near Smithwick in southwestern South Dakota, was a self-trained botanist who discovered and studied the many species of wildflowers of the Great Plains. He became a recognized national authority on the many species of cactus in the region and discovered many color forms of asters, roses and other plants, some of which he named.

The Society’s mission statement reads in part: To engage in scientific research regarding plants of the Great Plains of North America, and to carry on the scientific work begun by Claude Barr of Prairie Gem Ranch, Smithwick, which is to pursue greater knowledge, appreciate and understanding of the Great Plains of North America.

The Society’s main project has been establishing near Hermosa a complete, first-of-its-kind botanic garden devoted to the native plants of the Great Plains.

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