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  For Your Garden  

November 2010

Listen to the podcast of this information.

Native plants provide not only beauty but food and shelter for wildlife. Are you using native plants in your yard and garden? 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.


persimmon leaf

common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Guy Sternberg, Photographer

Photo rights are available for purchase.

A persimmon tree may grow to about 50 feet in height. Its bark is dark gray or black and divided into square-shaped blocks. Its leaves are arranged alternately on the stem. Each leaf is simple and smooth along the edges. The leaf is oval or elliptical in shape with a pointed tip. A leaf may be up to five inches long and two and one-half inches wide. The upper leaf surface is dark green and shiny, while the lower surface is lighter in color. Male and female flowers are usually produced on separate trees. The fruit is a fleshy sphere that is usually orange when ripe. Many animals eat persimmon fruits. Persimmon trees grow well in a variety of conditions from well-drained uplands to wet bottomland soil.

For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, the following publications are available through the order form at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications.

Prairie Establishment and Landscaping

Landscaping for Wildlife

Butterfly Gardens




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