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For Your Garden - September 2013

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.

black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)

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.

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
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Caprifoliaceae

Illinois Status: common, native