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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.
ironweed (Vernonia sp.)
Photo © 2012,
Adele Hodde, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Ironweed is a common plant in Illinois, growing in open woods, prairies and roadsides. The plant may grow to five feet tall. Stems are unbranched except immediately below the flower heads. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem and are toothed along the edges. The underside of each leaf is finely pitted. The purple flowers are produced in clusters at the top of the plant from July though September.
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