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Have you been meaning to add a few native plants to your garden? Now is the perfect time. 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.
inland oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Photo © 2013, Adele Hodde, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Inland oats plants grow naturally in Illinois in areas of moist soil, preferably shaded. They are more commonly found in the southern half of the state than in northern Illinois. This native grass flowers from July through October. The plants may reach four feet in height. Their seed heads are attractive and provide food for wildlife. Seed heads turn a golden color in autumn. This species works well in woodland plantings and along woodland edges, although it will grow in full sun as well.
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, view the following publications at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids. You can access more information on the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant page, too.
Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
Landscaping for Wildlife