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  For Your Garden  


April 2010

Listen to the podcast of this information.

Spring is here! Native spring wildflowers are in bloom! Are you using native wildflowers in your landscaping? Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and disease. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Their brilliantly colored blossoms and interesting shapes will make your landscape a showplace. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

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Jacob’s-ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Photo © 2009, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com

Jacob’s-ladder grows throughout Illinois, mainly in prairies and woodlands. Its smooth stems are upright or spreading and may grow to nearly one foot tall. The plant has pinnately compound leaves, with from three to 13 leaflets. Flowering occurs from April through June. The flowers are pale blue and have five petals. Flowers are clustered at the tip of a stem. The fruit is a capsule that usually contains three seeds.

For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, the following publications are available through the IDNR order form at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids .

Prairie Establishment and Landscaping

Landscaping for Wildlife

Butterfly Gardens

 

 

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