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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. Using a variety of native plant species in your garden can provide you with flowers from March through November. Consider adding a few native plant species to your garden next year!
common polypody (Polypodium virginianum)
Photo © 2011, Joe McFarland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Photo rights available for purchase.
Common polypody is a fern that grows naturally in Illinois in shady areas on sandstone rocks and wooded slopes and on dunes. It is found in the southern and northern thirds of the state but is absent from central Illinois. Its spore-producing structures form on the back of the leaf from June through October. The leaves may grow to 10 inches long. Leaves are evergreen and provide wonderful color for your garden throughout the fall and winter. Ferns require very little care.
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