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For Your Garden - July 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.

arrow arum (Peltandra virginica)
Photo © John Hilty

Arrow arum is an aquatic plant that grows in areas of shallow, standing water such as swamps and ditches. It prefers shaded water. It is present in all but the counties of far north central and northwestern Illinois. Its leaves and flower stalks emerge from the water. The plant grows 12-24 inches tall. The leaves are large and arrow-shaped. This species blooms from May through June. The flowers are on a club-shaped structure called a spadix that is surrounded by a leaflike, elongated spathe. The flowers do not have petals or sepals. Fruits are green berries. Flies are attracted by the smell from the flowers and act as pollinators as they feed on the pollen. Waterfowl and some wading birds eat the fruits.

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