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For Your Garden - June 2011

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. Consider adding a few native plant species to your garden soon!

wild blue iris (Iris shrevei)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Wild blue iris blooms from May through June in areas with predominantly wet soil throughout Illinois. The plant has a thick underground stem, or rhizome. One to several flowers develop on the tip of a stalk. Flowers contain three blue petals and three blue sepals with a yellow base. Leaves are flat and smooth, up to three feet long and one and one-half inches wide. The fruits are three-angled capsules, up to four inches long.
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.