Over the last several years the Conservation District has fielded an increasing number of requests for suggestions on “garden friendly” native plants. This list is an attempt to answer these requests. We hope you will find it helpful. The plants have been divided into three categories: prairie, woodland, and wetland depending on where they grow best. Other information, including flower color, bloom time, height, and potential sources have been provided.
SOURCES: The list of sources is by no means an inclusive list and many of these species will be available at your favorite local garden center or nursery. Some of these species, however, are difficult to find and so these locations may be useful. If desired, you can call each source to request a catalog. Also, the McHenry County Defenders have compiled an extensive list of local nurseries that carry native plants.
A note on Species: For all the plants included on this list, the scientific name has been included. Many of these species have been hybridized and are commercially available. These hybrids and cultivars are not truly native species. Depending on your goal this may not matter to you; however, if you are attempting a restoration, it is important to acquire only plants with the exact scientific name listed. The reason for this is that many hybrids will not reproduce and spread.
A note on Aggressive Species: In the comments column of this list several species have been labeled “aggressive” or “potentially aggressive.” If your goal is a tidy formal bed, these species may not suit your needs. On the other hand, if you are planning a restoration or beautification, where rapid spreading is desirable, these plants should not be problematic.