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For Your Garden - October 2013

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.
hazelnut (Corylus americana)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Image by Guy Sternberg
Hazelnut is a shrub that grows in dry woodlands, forest edges, thickets and prairies throughout Illinois. It attains a height of three to 10 feet. Its leaves are simple and arranged alternately on the stem. This plant blooms from March through April. The flowers appear before the leaves in spring. The reproductive structures are in male and female catkins and do not have petals. The fruits produced are nuts that are up to 1.5 inches long and are eaten by people as well as wildlife.
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.