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For Your Garden - June 2014

Have you been meaning to add a few native plants to your garden? 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.

twin-leaf (Jeffersonia diphylla)
Photo © River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd.,

Twin-leaf is a member of the barberry family of plants. It grows in woodlands and blooms in April and May. It is rarely found in the southern one-third of the state but is fairly common in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. The flowers are white and have eight petals. The distinctive leaves have the appearence of being almost completely pinched into two parts in the center, leading to the name of "twin-leaf." The plants are about eight inches tall when in flower but will grow to a height of about 16 inches.

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: Berberidaceae

Illinois Status: common, native