For Your Garden - September 2019

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.
skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Photo © 2019, River Valley Photographic Resources Ltd.,
The skunk cabbage is a perennial herb. It has no stems. The smooth leaves, which may be up to two and one‐half feet long and nearly one foot wide, are produced after flowering. The flowers are located close to the ground on a thickened structure that is surrounded by a purple-to-green sheath. The fruits are berries. The skunk cabbage grows in swamps, fens and other wet areas. This plant flowers from February through March.
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.