For Your Garden - August 2015

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.
pale coneflower (Echinacea pallida)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Pale coneflower grows in dry prairies and open woodlands throughout Illinois. It may reach two to four feet tall. There are bristly hairlike structures on the stems and leaves. Leaves may be up to 10 inches long and one and one-half inches wide. Its lower leaves are lance-shaped with parallel venation and smooth edges, a feature that helps to distinguish this plant from purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). The lower leaves are also stalked, while the stem leaves usually do not have a stalk and are arranged alternately. Flowers are produced from May through August. The ray flowers are pale, pink-purple and droop when mature. There is one flower head per stem. This plant is attractive to many species of pollinators.
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.