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For Your Garden - March 2020

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.
sessile monkey-flower (Mimulus ringens)
Photo © John Hilty
Sessile monkey-flower grows in wet areas in the northern three-fourths of the state. Flowers are produced from June through September. The flowers have blue-violet petals. The arrangement of the lobed petals is said to resemble a monkey's face. Flowers develop in pairs on long stalks from the leaf axils. The leaves are also paired and attached directly to the stem. A single plant may reach one to three feet in height. Bumblebees feed on the flower nectar, and the larval stages of several species of moths and butterflies feed on the leaves.
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.