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For Your Garden - May 2009

Listen to the podcast (English or Spanish) of this information.
 Click here to read the Spanish-language version of the text.
 
Warmer temperatures, increasing amounts of daylight and beautiful flowers are just some of the reasons that people enjoy spring. Native wildflowers make wonderful additions to your garden as well as providing food and shelter for wildlife. They bloom for a long period of time and are resistant to disease and drought. 
 
BNSpiderwort.JPG
spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.)
Photo © 2016, Joe Bauer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
 
Several species of spiderwort grow in the woods and prairies of Illinois. They bloom from April through August. The blue-violet flowers each have their own stalk, but they are arranged in clusters at the tip of the stem. Each flower has three petals. A flower only lasts for a single day, but the plant is prolific in producing flowers. The long, narrow leaves are arranged alternately on the stem. A single plant may reach a maximum of about three feet in height.
 
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