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For Your Garden - October 2010

Native prairie wildflowers bloom well into fall! Are you using native wildflowers in your garden? Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. They also provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)

Prairie dock’s large oval or heart-shaped leaves develop only at the base of the plant. The leaves are toothed along the edge and may be two feet long and eight inches wide. The small yellow flower heads develop at the tip of a long stalk. The flower stalk may grow from six to 10 feet tall. Prairie dock grows in moist prairies throughout the state. It produces flowers from July through September. The leaves persist when dry and add interest to the garden through fall and winter.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native