For Your Garden - June 2019
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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.
Seneca snakeroot Polygala senega
Photo © 2019, River Valley Photographic Resources Ltd., rvprltd.com
There are two varieties of Seneca snakeroot in Illinois: one lives in prairies and dry woods in the northern three-fourths of the state; the other variety is rare and grows in woods in the northern one-half of Illinois. The plant has multiple stems and may grow to about 20 inches tall. Flowers develop on a stalk at the tip of the central stem. Blooming occurs from May through September. Flower color is white or green. The fruit is a capsule with two seeds. Native bees are attracted to the flowers.
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.