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For Your Garden - December 2022

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.

three-leaved stonecrop (Sedum ternatum)
Photo © John Hilty

Three-leaved stonecrop grows on rocky cliffs and in forest ravines in scattered location statewide where the substrate is moist. The plant may reach eight inches tall. It only branches at the base. It grows as a ground cover with taller flower stalks. Leaves are fleshy. Flowers develop in clusters on fertile shoots. There are four white petals and four green sepals per flower. Flowering occurs from May through June. Tiny seeds are produced from fertile flowers and are so small that they may be carried by wind. Stems can form rootlets where they touch the ground, so these plants often grow in colonies. The flowers attract some pollinating insects, mainly bees.

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.

Illinois Status: common, native