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For Your Garden - February 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.
horsemint (Monarda punctata)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Horsemint may be found in the northern one‐half of Illinois. It grows in sand prairies, hill prairies and on dunes. This species may be a perennial, biennial or annual plant. Its four‐sided stem is hairy. Its leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem. These simple, toothed leaves are lance‐shaped. Flowers are produced from June through October. The yellow flowers have purple spots. Flowers are clustered in the upper leaf axils. The bracts at the base of the flower are white or purple. The fruit is a nut. Horsemint may attain a height of one to three feet. This plant provides pollen and nectar to 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.