For Your Garden - April 2011

Native spring wildflowers will be blooming in profusion in April! Are you using native wildflowers in your landscaping? Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and disease. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Their brilliantly colored blossoms and interesting shapes will make your landscape a showplace. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)
Photo © 2009, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd.,
Marsh marigold grows naturally in the northern two-thirds of Illinois, particularly in wet areas and moist woodlands. Its large yellow flowers are among the earliest wildflower blossoms opening in spring. It blooms from April through June. The dark green leaves are shiny and provide a nice contrast to the yellow blooms. This member of the buttercup family has large, hollow stems. The plant may reach two feet in height. It completes its life cycle by mid-summer and will retain leaves longer if it is grown in moist soil. It provides a nice addition to a woodland garden, aquatic or wetland garden or a moist soil border to a garden.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

 Illinois Range


 Native Plant Information

For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, view the following publications at our publications page. You can access more information on the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant page, too.