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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.
pin oak (Quercus palustris)
Photo (C) 2013, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Image by Guy Sternberg.
The pin oak tree grows in moist areas throughout the state. Its tiny flowers are produced in April and May. The flowers do not have petals. Male and female flowers are separate but, both are produced on the same tree. Male flowers develop in catkins. Two or three female flowers are arranged in clusters. The fruit is an acorn, about one-half inch across. It is light brown and usually also shows darker brown stripes. The acorn cap covers approximately one-fourth or less of the acorn. These acorns take two years to reach maturity. They are an important food source for many wildlife species. This tree may reach 100 feet in height. Its lower branches droop.
For more information about native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, view the following publications at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Publications.
Prairie Establishment and Landscaping
Landscaping for Wildlife