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For Your Garden - March 2011

Spring arrives in March. Are you planning your garden now? Why not add a few native plants? 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.

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Photo © River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd.

Bloodroot blooms from March through April in rich woodlands throughout Illinois. This plant is a member of the poppy family. When broken, the stem produces an orange-red sap. As the plant’s stem grows underground, its common name is “bloodroot.” The lobed leaf wraps around the flower stalk. The plant grows from six to 12 inches tall and produces a prominent white flower. The rhizomes of this plant slowly spread, and after a few years a small colony of the plants can develop.

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: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae

Illinois Status: common, native