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For Your Garden - December 2015

​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.

pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)
Photo © Lance Merry

Pickerelweed grows in muddy, wet areas and shallow water throughout the state except the east central counties. The leaves are dark green, shaped somewhat like an arrowhead and, if growing in water, emerge from the water. Flowers are produced from May through September. The flowers are dark blue to purple and clustered in a spike at the tip of a stalk. This plant may grow from one to four feet tall.

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: Liliopsida
Order: Liliales
Family: Pontideriaceae

Illinois Status: common, native