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For Your Garden - January 2011

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.
 
FYGJan2011.jpg
swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)
Photo © Illinois Department of Natural Resources
 
Swamp white oak grows throughout Illinois. It thrives in soil that is poorly drained as well as in soil that is dry. The tree may reach 100 feet in height. Leaves are up to six inches long and four inches wide. The leaves have rounded teeth and shallow lobes. Leaves turn yellow/brown in the fall. The tiny flowers do not have petals. Male flowers develop in drooping clusters. Female flowers are in bunches of two to four. Acorns are one to one and one half inches long and provide food for wildlife. The wood of this tree is very strong.
 
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