Native Arrivals

I’ve spent a lot of time tracking down native seeds and preparing them for germination.  Paw Paw (Asimina triloba), Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and other presented unique opportunities for discovery and exploration of new natural areas in Illinois.  Some of the seeds I gathered only required mechanical cleaning, but most required some form of stratification, scarification, etc.    This year I intend on raising more rare and delicate species in a semi protected area until they are large enough to survive animal feedings.   My favorite species are those that can be broadcast into the prairie directly.    I’m also a huge fan of native legumes.  Natives are an essential element of any landscape and are not only  beautiful but wonderfully functional and productive.

You’ll notice the composition of our natives is shifted towards flowering, hardy, edible, herbal, and nitrogen fixing species.   Fortunately, these criterion don’t limit my native species choices much at all.  The introduction of more natives to our system will provide habitat for beneficial species, reduce weed competition, increase biodiversity, reduce diseases and pests, build  fertility,  and add beauty to the landscape.

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Check out the “Native” tab in our  excel species list for a partial listing of our natives


Acorus americanus (Sweet Flag)
Allium canadense var. lavendulare (Showy Wild Garlic)
Allium stellatum (Prairie Onion)
Allium tricoccum (Wild Leek)
Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant)
Amorpha fruiticosa (False Indigo)
Amorpha nana (Fragrant False Indigo)
Asclepias incarnata (Rose Milkweed)
Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)
Astragalus canadensis (Canada Milk Vetch)
Astragalus crassicarpus (Ground Plum)
Baptisia australis (Blue Wild Indigo)
Callirhoe bushii (Bush’s Poppy Mallow)
Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold)
Camassia angusta (Southern Wild Hyacinth)
Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey Tea)
Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea)
Claytonia virginica (Spring Beauty)
Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain Bee Plant)
Dalea candida (White Prairie Clover)
Dalea foliosa (Leafy Prairie Clover)
Dalea purpurea (Purple Prairie Clover)
Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois Bundle Flower)
Desmodium canadense (Showy Tick Trefoil)
Desmodium illinoense (Illinois Tick Trefoil)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s Breeches)
Dodecatheon amethystinum (Amethyst Shooting Star)
Echinacea purpea (Coneflower)
Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master)
Erythronium albidum (White Trout Lily)
Gaura biennis (Biennial Gaura)
Gaura longiflora (Large-flowered Gaura)
Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian’s Sunflower)
Heliopsis helianthoides (Early Sunflower)
Hierochloe odorata (Sweet Grass)
Lespedeza capitata (Round-headed Bush Clover)
Lespedeza virginica (Slender Bush Clover)
Liatris pycnostachya (Prairie Blazing Star)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Oenothera biennis (Common Evening Primrose)
Parthenium integrifolium (Wild Quinine)
Penstemon calycosus (Calico Beardtongue)
Physostegia angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Obedient Plant)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Pycnanthemum pilosum (Hairy Mountain Mint)
Pycnanthemum virginianum (Mountain Mint)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Wild Golden Glow)
Senna hebecarpa (Wild Senna)
Vernonia fasciculata (Common Ironweed)