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For Your Garden - May 2012

Have you been meaning to add a few native plants to your garden? Now is the perfect time. 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.
wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides)
Photo © 2012, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com
Wild hyacinth is a member of the lily family of plants and grows from a bulb. It can be found statewide in prairies and woodlands. The leaves arise from the base and are long and narrow. A single leaf may be up to 12 inches long. Flowers are produced from April through June. Flower color varies from white to light purple. Ten to 12 flowers develop at the end of a leafless stalk. Each flower has three petals, three sepals and six yellow stamens.
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.