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For Your Garden - May 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.

June grass (Koeleria macrantha)
Photos © John Hilty

June grass is also known as crested hair grass. This perennial plant has leaves that tend to twist or spiral as they grow. The leaves may be eight inches long and less than one‐fourth inch wide. The small spikes of flowers are densely crowded in narrow heads, about four to five inches in length. Each spikelet has two to four flowers. The fruit is a grain. June grass is a mid‐height grass, about two feet tall, that may be found throughout Illinois. It grows in dry to moist prairies and sandy woods. Flowering occurs from June through September. Wind is the main agent of pollination.

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 native Illinois plants, including where to purchase them and planting guides, view the following publications at our publications page. You can access more information on the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant page, too.


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae

Illinois Status: common, native