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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. Consider adding a few native plant species to your garden soon!
wild blue iris (Iris shrevei)
Photo © 2009, River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd., rvprltd.com
Wild blue iris blooms from May through June in areas with predominantly wet soil throughout Illinois. The plant has a thick underground stem, or rhizome. One to several flowers develop on the tip of a stalk. Flowers contain three blue petals and three blue sepals with a yellow base. Leaves are flat and smooth, up to three feet long and one and one-half inches wide. The fruits are three-angled capsules, up to four inches long.
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, the following publications are available through the order form at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications.
Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
Landscaping for Wildlife