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Prairie wildflowers start blooming profusely in August. Their colors can adorn your landscaping in the fall when many other plants have lost their blossoms. Have you included any native prairie wildflowers in your garden? Native prairie wildflowers are resistant to cold and drought and are rarely attacked by disease and insects. They are perennials that you can enjoy year after year without having to provide them with much care.
drooping coneflower Ratibida pinnata
Photo © 2008, Adele Hodde, IDNR Office of Public Services. Photo rights available for purchase.
Also known as yellow coneflower or gray-headed coneflower, this species may be found in prairie remnants and restorations in the northern three-fourths of Illinois and occasionally in the rest of the state. It blooms from July through October. The plant grows to two to four feet in height. Leaves have three to seven sections and are attached alternately to the stem. The yellow ray flowers droop and are attached to a central cone of tiny disc flowers.
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, the following publications are available through the IDNR order form at http://www.idnrteachkids.com.
Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
Landscaping for Wildlife