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For Your Garden

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.

 

FYGOct2021.jpg early meadow rue (Thalictrum dioicum)
Photo © River Valley Photographic Resources Ltd., rvprltd.com
 
Early meadow rue grows in rich woods and prairies statewide. It has alternate, compound leaves, each up to one foot long. Flowers are borne in April and May. Plants produce either male or female flowers. The flowers develop in clusters at the stem tip, and they droop. There are no petals. The sepals are green-white to purple-brown. The flowers are pollinated by wind. A single plant may be up to two and one-half feet tall. The fruits are dry, hard and one-seeded. Some moth larvae feed on the leaves and stems.
 

Continue scrolling down to see the alphabetical listing of previously highlighted species or click here to search species by garden type.

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. Click here for this list.

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.

 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.
 
Click on the species' common name to go to the For Your Garden page.

 Common Name

 Scientific Name

Campanulastrum americanum
Lithospermum latifolium
Symphyotrichum oolentangiense
Andropogon gerardii
Rudbeckia hirta
Viburnum prunifolium
Liatris spp.
Sanguinaria canadensis
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Verbena hastata
Mertensia virginica
Collinsia verna
Rudbeckia triloba
Asclepias tuberosa
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Astragalus canadensis
Lobelia cardinalis
Rosa carolina
Stylophorum diphyllum
Polystichum acrostichoides
Gentiana andrewsii
Aquilegia canadensis
Eupatorium perfoliatum
Asclepias syriaca
Pycnanthemum virginianum
Phlox divaricata
Polypodium virginianum
Silphium laciniatum
Baptisia bracteata
Veronicastrum virginicum
Silphium perfoliatum
Actaea pachypoda
Helianthus mollis
Ratibida pinnata
Dicentra cucullaria
Delphinium tricorne
Thalictrum dioicum
Physostegia virginiana
Enemion biternatum
Smilacina racemosa
Solidago nemoralis
Doellingeria umbellata
Cornus florida
Penstemon digitalis
Zizia aurea
Solidago spp.
Hydrastis canadensis
Cornus racemosa
Angelica atropurpurea
Lobelia siphilitica
Arisaema dracontium
Corylus americana
Symphyotrichum ericoides
Lithospermum canescens
Verbena stricta
​Monarda punctata
Asclepias verticillata
Desmanthus illinoensis
Sorghastrum nutans
Chasmanthium latifolium
Arisaema triphyllum
Polemonium reptans
Trillium grandiflorum
Cypripedium parviflorum
Eupatorium serotinum
Amorpha canescens
Schizachyrium scoparium
Lupinus perennis
Liatris spicata
Ranunculus septentrionalis
Caltha palustris
Podophyllum peltatum
Anemone canadensis
Asclepias spp.
Vernonia sp.
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Ceanothus americanus
Allium cernuum
Elymus canadensis
​Heliopsis helianthoides
Echinacea pallida
Chamaechrista fasciculata
Diospyros virginiana
Pontederia cordata
Quercus palustris
Asclepias exaltata
Geum triflorum
Liatris pycnostachya
Drymocallis arguta
Coreopsis palmata
Silphium terebinthinaceum
Sporobolus heterolepis
Arnoglossum plantagineum
Asclepias sullivantii
Echinacea purpurea
Eutrochium purpureum
Asclepias purpurascens
Dalea purpurea
Helenuim flexuosum
Cardamine douglassii
Trillium recurvatum
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Eryngium yuccifolium
Juniperus virginiana
Cornus sericea
Cercis canadensis
Betula nigra
Silphium integrifolium
Liatris aspera
Coreopsis lanceolata
Sassafras albidum
Helianthus grosseserratus
Polygala senega
Amelanchier arborea
Mimulus ringens
Hepatica acutiloba
Dodecatheon meadia
Solidago speciosa
Desmodium canadense
Bouteloua curtipendula
Symphyotrichum sericeum
Symplocarpus foetidus
Symphyotrichum laeve
Polygonatum commutatum
Lindera benzoin
Tradescantia sp.
Lobelia spicata
Eutrochium maculatum
Impatiens capensis
Claytonia virginica
Cardamine bulbosa
Smilacina stellata
Oligoneuron rigidum
Rhus sp.
Asclepias incarnata
Hibiscus moscheutos
Quercus bicolor
Rudbeckia subtomentosa
Panicum virgatum
Heuchera americana
Eupatorium altissimum
Dentaria laciniata
Liriodendron tulipifera
Liparis liliifolia
Jeffersonia diphylla
Hydrophyllum virginianum
Euonymus atropurpureus
Nelumbo lutea
Helianthus occidentalis
Dalea candida
Erythronium albidum
Chelone glabra
Baptisia alba
Monarda fistulosa
Iris shrevei
Geranium maculatum
Asarum canadense
Camassia scilloides
Ruellia humilissia
Parthenium integrifolium
Senna hebecarpa
Hamamelis virginiana
Uvularia grandiflora
Erythronium americanum
Gentiana alba
Nuphar advena
Lithospermum incisum
Helenium autumnale