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For Your Garden - January 2019

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.
 
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false Solomon’s-seal (Smilacina racemosa)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
 
False Solomon’s-seal grows in rich woodlands statewide. A plant may reach about two and one-half feet in height. It develops from an underground stem. Leaves are alternate and may be six inches long and three inches wide. Blooming occurs from April through June. Flowers develop in a cluster at the stem tip. The flower color is white. Fertilized flowers produce a spherical berry that is red or red with purple stripes when mature. Pollinating insects (bees, flies and beetles) are attracted to the flowers. Some birds and mammals 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.