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.
blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Photo © River Valley Photographic Resources Ltd., rvprltd.com
Blue cohosh grows statewide in moist woods. Flowers are produced in April and May. The flowers are six-parted and are green-yellow to brown. Its fruits are dark-blue berries. The leaves have seven to nine leaflets. A single plant may be one to three feet tall. The flowers attract pollinators, and the fruits are eaten by wildlife, particularly birds.
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These plant species are native to Illinois, and most of them are good sources of nectar and/or pollen for animals that act as pollinators. Some of them provide food for larval stages of pollinators, too, and many of them provide shelter throughout the year. They are readily available for purchase from plant nurseries. These species are best for locations that receive sunshine for most of the day throughout the growing season.
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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.