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For Your Garden - January 2017

​Listen to a podcast of this information.

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.
 stiff goldenrod  (Oligoneuron rigidum)
Photo © 2016, Joe Bauer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
 
Stiff goldenrod is a perennial herb that has hairy leaves in an alternate arrangement along the hairy stem. The stiff, lance-shaped upper leaves clasp the stem. Lower leaves are large, oblong, short-stalked and rough. The small, yellow flowers develop in a broad, flat-topped cluster at the stem tip. Both disk and ray flowers are present, and both are fertile. There are six to 14 rays per flower. The one-seeded fruit is dry and hard. This plant may attain a height of one to five feet. Stiff goldenrod may be found statewide in Illinois, although it is uncommon in the southern tip of the state. It grows in dry to moist prairies, dry thickets, sandy soil and rocky, open ground. Flowers are produced from July through October. Flowers, leaves, stems and buds all provide food for wildlife.
 
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.