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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.
blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium)
Photo © 2013, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Blackhaw is a small tree that grows along streams, in woods and on wooded slopes throughout Illinois. It may reach a height of 25 feet with a diameter of six inches. The bark is red-brown with many fissures. Its leaves are simple and arranged oppositely on the stem. A single leaf may be up to three inches long and two inches wide. The leaf edge is very finely toothed. Flowers are produced from April through June. These white flowers form in broad, rounded clusters. The resulting blue-black fruits are fleshy, contain one seed and are readily eaten by wildlife. Fall leaf colors on this small tree are outstanding.
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