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For Your Garden - March 2013

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!
small yellow lady's-slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum) [state endangered] 
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
The small yellow lady's-slipper orchid grows in woodlands throughout the state, but it is not common in any part of the state. It prefers moist soil and shaded areas. The large yellow flowers appear in April and May. One or two flowers per plant are produced at the top of a stalk. The plant may grow to 12 to 24 inches in height. The leaves may be up to six inches long and three inches wide. The leaf base clasps the stem. Three to five leaves are usually present.
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.