For Your Garden - April 2013

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year. Consider adding a few native plant species to your garden soon!
mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum )
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
The mayapple, or mandrake, is a very common plant found in woodlands statewide. It develops from an underground stem. The plant may grow to two feet in height and has two umbrellalike leaves, each with five to nine lobes. A single leaf may be 14 inches wide. The leaves attach to the stalk from their bottom center. Flowering occurs from April through June. One white flower develops where the leaf stalks join at the main stem. The flower has six to nine petals, and only lasts a day or two. The fruit is an ovoid, yellow berry that may be two inches long. The fruit ripens in August.
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.