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For Your Garden - April 2018

 
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.
 
rough blazing-star Liatris aspera
Photo © 2018, Joe Bauer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
 
Rough blazing-star is found statewide in black soil prairies and savannas. A single plant may attain a height of up to 30 inches. This member of the aster family has unbranched stems with alternate leaves. The leaves decrease in size from the bottom of the stem to the top. Both the leaves and stem are hairy. Blue-purple to red-pink flowers are produced from July through September. The flowers develop in clusters of 25-40 with the clusters either attached directly to the stem or on a very short stalk. Bracts  below the flower heads are rounded with definite, curled margins. Pollinators are attracted to the nectar and pollen from this species.
 
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.
 

 Native Plant Information

 
 
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, view the following publications at our publications page. You can access more information on the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant page, too.