Listen to the podcast of this information.
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.
wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Photo © 2012, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com
Wild geranium can be found statewide in woodlands. This perennial plant grows from thick roots. The stems are hairy and sometimes branched. The leaves at the base of the plant are hairy, have three to five divisions and may be up to five inches wide. The stem leaves are hairy, develop in pairs and are smaller than the basal leaves. This plant may grow to a height of one to two feet. Flowers are produced from April through June. Flowers develop in a cluster at the tip of the stem. Each flower has five, rose-purple petals.
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, view the following publications at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids.
Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
Landscaping for Wildlife