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For Your Garden - March 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.

spring cress (Cardamine bulbosa)
Photo © River Valley Photographic Resources, Ltd.,

Spring cress, also known as bulbous cress, grows throughout Illinois along streams and in moist woodlands. This plant of the mustard family blooms from March through June. The flowers are clustered at the stem tip. Each flower has four white petals. The leaves at the base of the plant are rounded, and each grows on a long stalk. The plant can grow from eight to 20 inches tall and has roots that are shaped like bulbs.

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: Capparales
Family: Brassicaceae

Illinois Status: common, native