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For Your Garden - October 2020

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.

showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)
Photo © John Hilty

Showy goldenrod is a perennial herb with a smooth, red stem. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, and the margins of the lower leaves have irregular edges. Yellow flowers develop in heads at the stem tip. There are five to six rays per flower. The one‐seeded fruit is dry and hard. Showy goldenrod may attain a height of two to six feet. This species may be found statewide in Illinois. It grows in open woods and prairies. Flowers are produced from August through October. The flowers are pollinated by insects. All parts of this plant may be eaten by wildlife.

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