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.
Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Photo © John Hilty
Jerusalem artichoke grows in moist soil, prairies and disturbed soil statewide. Its leaves are broad, and the stems are hairy (white hairs). The upper leaves are alternately arranged on the stem, but the lower leaves may be opposite each other. A single plant may reach six or more feet in height. Flowers are produced from August through October. The flower heads are stalked at the tip of the stem branches. The flowers (both disk and ray) are yellow. The fruit is an achene, a simple dry fruit that does not open at maturity. Several bee species act as pollinators as they collect nectar and pollen from the flowers.
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.