For Your Garden - May 2016

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.
golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
The yellow flowers of golden Alexanders can be seen in savannas, moist woodlands, prairies and along streams from April through June. This member of the parsley family grows throughout Illinois but is less common in the southern one-fourth of the state.  It has multiple stems that produce flowers. The flowers are tiny and arranged in umbrellalike clusters (umbel) at the stem tip. The plant typically grows one to three feet tall. Leaves are compound and arranged alternately along the stem. It is a good species for pollinators.
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.