For Your Garden - December 2018

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.
Solomon’s-seal (Polygonatum commutatum)
Photo © John Hilty
Solomon’s-seal, a member of the lily family, grows in woodlands and other shady places throughout Illinois. A plant may reach about three and one-half feet tall. Each plant has one stem, and the stem leans to one side. Leaves are alternately arranged and placed close together. Blooming occurs from April through June. Flowers develop in the leaf axils of the upper half of the plant and hang below the stem in clusters of two to five flowers. Flower color is white-green to yellow-green. Fertilized flowers produce a berry that becomes dark-purple in color when mature. Pollinating insects and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Some wildlife species also eat the berries.
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.