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For Your Garden - October 2017

 
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.
 
FYGOct2017.jpg
purple sneezeweed (Helenium flexuosum)
Photo © 2017, John Hilty
 
Purple sneezeweed can be found commonly in southern Illinois. It is present in central and northern Illinois, but the occurrence decreases greatly in those areas. It grows in fields, ditches, wet prairies, pastures and other locations where the soil is moist and somewhat acidic. This member of the aster family may grow to three feet in height. Flower heads are produced at the stem tip from June through September. Each flower head has a brown-purple center of disk flowers surrounded by 8-14 yellow ray flowers. The flowers provide nectar and pollen to a variety of insects. 
 
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.