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For Your Garden - March 2017

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.

common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Photo © John Hilty
Common boneset is also known as perfoliate boneset.  Found statewide, this species thrives in swamps, wet meadows, wet prairies, sloughs, around ponds and lakes and along streams. This plant has white, hairy stems that may grow to five feet tall. The lance-shaped leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem. Leaves are white, hairy, toothed, up to six inches long and up to two inches broad. Flowers are produced from July through October. They develop in small heads with five white petals per flower. Petals form a tube. Fruits are single seeds about one-tenth inch long, each with a tuft of white bristles.
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.