Links, downloads, and other resources to help you invite nature into your yard!

Native Plants

Plant Lists


Images of plants from site-visit notebookNative plants for beginnersShade plantsPlants for Sunny Locations
    by color, height, rain and pollinator gardens...
Native Plants for the Small YardDesigning a Small Meadow Garden
    Benjamin Vogt for Homegrown National Park
Sedges for GardeningHow to Design a Better Wildlife Garden
    from the National Wildlife Foundation


Pat HillMidwest Groundcovers


Introduction   (PDF from UWis)Notes from Seminar on Sedges 
     Rachel Balk's graphic notes
     Midwest Groundcovers


Healthy HedgesHealthy Hedges Poster


Deer-resistant plants  (CFC)Versatile plants (WPPC)Landscaping-design grid (D. Sandoval)Plants by numbers of insects they host
(Tallamy' research findings)
Woodland Ephemerals (Liz Anna Kozik)Rabbit Resources: How to CopeSalt-tolerant Native Plants


Seedling ID Guide for Native Prairie 
Plants -- Central Region
(Book)  The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Seed and Seedling Identification in the Upper Midwest by Dave Williams
(Book) The Gardener's Guide to Prairie Plants  by Neil Diboll & Hilary Cox
Click to read Morgan's review of this book



Illinois Wildflowers
Comprehensive listing of plants native to Illinois      
TIP: To see the listing for a particular plant, enter the name (common or botanic) into your browser    followed by il (Illinois) to go directly to that plant.
The National Wildlife Foundation uses Doug Tallamy's research to show how many insects are hosted by specific plants that grow in your zipcode.
Audubon Plant-finder
What to plant to attract specific species of birds
Homegrown National ParkPrairie Moon Nursery
Plant characteristics, what plants grow well together, pictures, and much more
The Conservation FoundationCitizens for ConservationbPlant
Info, comparisons of similar species -- focused on mid-Atlantic, but midwest and more coming
Blazing Star GardensWildflower Propagation and Preservation Committee  (WPPC)Ladybird Johnson Wildflower CenterMinnesota WildflowersHeather Holm - Soft Landings
                    Bluff Spring Fen by Joel Sheesley

Where to See Native Plants


Sherman Hospital’s Natural Prairie -- prairie, lake and woodland walks 
(Enter hospital drive -- Randall Rd. N or Big Timber -- and turn right to park next to trail)
Fitchie Creek Forest Preserve -- 
savannah woodland with creek and pond
39W993 Russell Road in Elgin
Bluff Spring Fen -- 
prairie, woodlands and wetland 
Spring Grove Avenue in Elgin
Poplar Creek Prairie  
Shoe Factory Rd., parking lot on Rt. 59
Click for all Kane County Forest Preserves
interactive map and info


River Walk in Geneva
downtown Geneva along the E side of the river
NENA Butterfly Garden
166 Ann Street in Elgin


My Journey into the Wilds of Chicago by Mike MacDonald 
available at area libraries
Best Places for Nature Rx by County (TCF)
Listing on The Conservation Foundation's website

Support for Native-plant Gardening

Yard Signs

Just getting started with native plants? 
The small sign (We've started) shows your intention.

To tell onlookers about the wonder of your native plants, choose one of the larger, educational sign.

You can order a sign when you register with Start In Your Yard. Click the button: Register Your Interest!


Heather Holm on Pollination of Native Plants 

This presentation is a fascinating journey showcasing the development of different flower types and the presentation of floral resources to pollinators. Exploring types of insect pollinators, their foraging behavior, and the floral features that attract pollinators, Heather will provide many specific examples of how native plants are pollinated and what pollinator is most effective and why.
Click to watch the videoClick for information about Heather -- and the handouts

Doug Tallamy and The Nature of Oaks

Doug Tallamy's new book, The Nature of Oaks, is the basis of this presentation to the national Wild Ones audience on 5 October 2021. He makes a compelling case that oaks are a keystone species that support the contributions of other native species. Dr. Tallamy is an engaging speaker even as he imparts a great deal of information. Oaks? They're worth getting to know much better. You'll want to consider adding them to your landscape. (Presentation begins, 3:10)

Rainwater in Your Yard: What You Should Know

Why are people using rain barrels, creating rain gardens, and maintaining less lawn? You likely know that these techniques help to handle the stormwater that would otherwise run off your property. But runoff is a complex topic, and Jessica Mino of The Conservation Foundation helps us understand its importance. Learn how to use rainwater as a resource in your yard and help keep the waterways healthy.

Protecting Dark Skies

Learn about the International Dark-Sky Association and why it's so important. Adam Kreuzer is a delegate, and discusses how light pollution affects us, and how we can improve the lighting on our own properties. Barb McKittrick discusses the influence of the light pollution on our plants and animals.

Plant Phenology and Climate Change

Tom Simpson, of the McHenry County Conservation District, describes his analysis of the data that volunteers have been collecting. He examines how native plants respond to annual temperature and rainfall amounts in March and discusses implications for restoration work going forward.

Nature's Best Hope

Doug Tallamy shares his knowledge and ideas in his typically engaging manner. This is a great video to inspire you. It also imparts an enormous amount of scientific information in layman's language. This is a recording of a National Wild Ones webinar.

Heather Holm on WASPS

Gain new appreciation for these much-maligned insects who pollinate our plants and also play other roles in our ecological systems. You'll be amazed at their diversity.

Heather Holm is a biologist who does pollinator conservation. We are fortunate to have her as an Honorary Director of the Wild Ones organization.

Top 10 Things New Native Gardeners Need to Know

Ken Williams shares what he's learned -- and what we need to know about gardening with native plants.

What About Invasive Plants?

This panel of experts, Valerie Blaine, Corey Begalka, and Sue Bohne, answers a range of questions about identifying and removing invasive plants, with accompanying pictures.
Start In Your Yard is an initiative launched by the Greater Kane County chapter of Wild Ones