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For Your Garden - February 2012

Listen to the podcast of this information.

Native plants provide not only beauty but also 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.

 FYGFeb2012.jpg
serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
 
Serviceberry is also known as shadbush or Juneberry. This small tree may grow to about 20 feet in height with a maximum trunk diameter of eight inches. It has slender branches. Its clusters of white flowers are produced from March to May before the tree’s leaves appear. Flowers each have five petals. The leaves are simple, alternate and finely toothed. The fruit is applelike, up to one-fourth inch in diameter and with a red-purple coloration. The tree grows naturally in Illinois on wooded bluffs and slopes statewide.
 
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.
 
  • Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
  • Landscaping for Wildlife
  • Butterfly Gardens