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  For Your Garden  

October 2010

Listen to the podcast of this information.

Native prairie wildflowers bloom well into fall! Are you using native wildflowers in your garden? Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.


purple coneflower field

prairie dock ( Silphium terebinthinaceum )

Photo © 2010, Adele Hodde, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Photo rights are available for purchase.

Prairie dock’s large oval or heart-shaped leaves develop only at the base of the plant. The leaves are toothed along the edge and may be two feet long and eight inches wide. The small yellow flower heads develop at the tip of a long stalk. The flower stalk may grow from six to 10 feet tall. Prairie dock grows in moist prairies throughout the state. It produces flowers from July through September. The leaves persist when dry and add interest to the garden through fall and winter.

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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