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For Your Garden - June 2010

Native wildflowers are painting the landscape with their colorful blossoms! Are you using native wildflowers in your garden? Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and disease. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna)
Photo © 2009, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com
Blue-eyed Mary grows statewide in Illinois in rich woods. A member of the snapdragon family, this species blooms from April through June. The distinctive flowers have upper lobes that are white and lower lobes that are bright blue. The plant may grow to 24 inches tall. Leaves are lance-shaped and arranged oppositely on the stem.
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.