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
2 ratings

Monday - May 29, 2006

From: Rockford, IL, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Native plants for wildlife gardening in Illinois
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I live in Rockford, Illinois. Where/How can I find information on native flowers, plants, trees, grasses and animals, and other things I can plant on our property (about an acre) to provide a home for our native animals and insects etc...?

ANSWER:

Our Native Plant Information Network page can help with information about plants native to your area. If you do a combination search there, you can enter the name of your state plus the specific conditions of your site, like moisture level and light level, along with plant type preferences, and a list should come up of native plants that fit your criteria.

Once you learn the names of some of the basic plants native to your locale, you can enter their scientific or common names into our Native Plants Database to get to information about the plants. Once you get to the information page for a specific plant, if you click on the Uses link near the top of the screen, any information we have about wildlife uses should appear. An internet search using the plants' scientific or common names will also bring up information about benefits to wildlife.

Contacting your local native plant society or Wild Ones chapter will also help, and the National Wildlife Federation has a longstanding backyard habitat program that can provide some pointers. Local Audubon Society chapters can provide good information, and Chicago Wilderness magazine has some good suggestions and helpful links as well.
 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Want to create a native wildlife habitat for our home in Wasau, WI.
August 18, 2010 - I am trying to create a native wildlife habitat for our home. We live in Marathon County, Wisconsin (north central Wisconsin). We live near woods, meadow, wetlands. Could you send me a list of nativ...
view the full question and answer

Plant for hummingbirds shelter in Briarcliff TX
August 10, 2009 - I am looking to grow a container plant for the birds to enjoy on my back deck. A little greenery and possibly a place to rest for the birds would be great. This faces west and has no shade. There a...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife habitat in Gambia
April 06, 2005 - Thank you for the interesting website. We bought a plot in the Gambia and would like to change it into a habitat for different living species; hence, your kindly advise is welcome as we are definitel...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars on Carolina buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)
September 29, 2007 - I have a Carolina buckthorn and last year there were interesting looking caterpillars munching on the leaves. They were camouflaged to look a bit like bird droppings. The plant database makes no ment...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Globe Thistle in Virginia
June 15, 2013 - Hi, We are trying to get our garden to be 100% North American Native and are at about 90% native to our region. One of the last plants we have to replace is our Globe Thistle. Do you have a good r...
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