En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 12, 2009

From: Evanston, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflower Center, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Flowering native plants for Evanston IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What flowering, native plants would be suitable for a backyard garden in Evanston Illinois?

ANSWER:

Since we really don't know if you need sun or shade, how much room you have or what, allow us to introduce you to our Native Plants Database. We will give you a few examples of our suggestions, but you can find so many more and answer other questions you will think of as you look at possibilities. As we also don't know how experienced a gardener you are, we suggest you read our How-To Article that will help you get started: A Guide to Native Plant Gardening. If you would like to look at our other How-To Articles, just click on How To Articles under Explore Plants.

A good way to begin this search is to go to Recommended Species, and click on Illinois on the map. In the right-hand column, there is a Narrow Your Search section, on which you can select "herbs" (herbaceous blooming plants), "shrubs" or "trees" under Habit. You can also indicate your Light Requirements in this search. We consider "sun" to be six hours or more of sun daily, "part shade" 2 to 6 hours of sun daily, and "shade" less than 2 hours of sun daily. For our example, we chose "herbs" and shade or part shade. When we did this, we got 72 possbilities of blooming plants for Illinois. From these, we chose four as examples. You find out all about these plants by following the plant link, and going to the webpage for each plant. Under "Growing Conditions" you will learn what kind of soil this plant does best in, how much water it needs, and sun requirements. Under "Benefits" you will find out what wildlife it attracts.

Herbaceous Flowering Plants for Evanston, IL

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - 1 to 2 ft. tall, blooms orange, yellow May to September, sun or part shade, larval host for Monarch butterfly

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) - to 1 ft. tall, blooms yellow April to June, sun, part shade or shade, attracts butterflies

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - 2 to 5 ft. tall, blooms pink, purple April to September, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - 1 to 6 ft. perennial, blooms red May to October, sun, part shade or shade, attracts hummingbirds

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Problems with chile pequin from Pflugerville TX
July 19, 2012 - Hello there! I have a question about my chile pequin (Capsicum annuum L.) plant. I purchased it last year from the Wildflower Center Fall Plant Sale. It stayed in a pot until three months ago when I p...
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

Source for Frostweed plants or seeds from Portland TX
June 23, 2013 - I am looking for somewhere I can buy Frostweed plants or seeds. I live in Portland, TX, but frequent San Antonio and the Hill Country. Can you help me with this?
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
view the full question and answer

Source for Dichondra from Hillsboro TX
November 26, 2012 - Where can I get dichondra and info about it?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center