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For Your Garden - October 2011

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. Using a variety of native plant species in your garden can provide you with flowers from March through November. Consider adding a few native plant species to your garden next year!

sawtooth sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus)

Sawtooth sunflower blooms from July through October throughout Illinois. It can be found in prairies, in wet areas by ditches and meadows and along the edges of woods where sunshine is abundant. This plant's stem is smooth, although the leaves have hairs. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Leaves may reach a maximum of eight inches long and two inches wide. Leaves are toothed along the edges. The plant generally grows from three to five feet tall. Flowers develop in clusters. The ray and disc flowers are both yellow.

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