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For Your Garden - September 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.
 
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black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Image by Guy Sternberg.
 
Blackhaw is a small tree that grows along streams, in woods and on wooded slopes throughout Illinois. It may reach a height of 25 feet with a diameter of six inches. The bark is red-brown with many fissures. Its leaves are simple and arranged oppositely on the stem. A single leaf may be up to three inches long and two inches wide. The leaf edge is very finely toothed. Flowers are produced from April through June. These white flowers form in broad, rounded clusters. The resulting blue-black fruits are fleshy, contain one seed and are readily eaten by wildlife. Fall leaf colors on this small tree are outstanding.
 
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.