• Easy to Grow Native Plants  A list of plants that are native to Illinois.  Good for all you newbies when planning your garden, courtesy of the people behind this website.
  • BEST plants for attracting WILDLIFE – IL  Identifies the best plants to attract wildlife.  With specific lists for hummingbirds, butterflies and caterpillars.  Prints on 2 pages (Word).
  • Gardening for Life – by Doug Tallamy Why Native Plants are important and what to do with them. Gardening for Life 2pp. Printed
  • Doug Tallamy on YouTube speaking to Wild Ones in TN: Doug Tallamy at Wild Ones
  • This is a chapter run website and part of a national organization which you would join.  The national run website has many more resources listed here: Natural Landscaping Resources by Wild Ones
  • Free Downloads of Wild Ones publications: Wild Ones Publications
  • Free Wild Ones Journal articles: Free assorted magazine articles
  • Wild Ones – Greater DuPage Chapter (Facebook):   Even if you cannot make it to meetings, you can still interact with fellow Wild Ones members through our chapter Facebook.
  • National Wild Ones Facebook Wild Ones is a national organization with many chapters.  Exchange ideas and information about native plants (please note your region e.g. “Northern Illinois”). This is a closed group for Wild Ones members only. Click the JOIN tab at the top of this page for membership.  Members also need to have a Facebook account. 
  • Conservation @ Home:  The Conservation Foundation has launched a new initiative that encourages and recognizes property owners that protect and create yards that are environmentally friendly and conserve water. This includes planting native vegetation, such as prairie and woodland wildflowers, trees and shrubs, create butterfly and rain gardens, and remove exotic species of plants.
  • US EPA – Green Landscaping:The Great Lakes National Program Office maintains this site to enhance public access to information on landscaping with native plants.
  •  Gateway to Federal efforts concerning invasive species. On this site you can learn  about the impacts of invasive species and the Federal government’s response, as well as read select species profiles and find links to agencies and organizations dealing with invasive species issues.
  • Nick Fuller’s action plan to control invasives is listed in two Word documents: Steps1-3-Invasive-Control.doc and Steps-4-5-Invasive-Control.doc
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources:  This site is not dedicated to native plants but can provide local information if you are patient.
  • Chicago Wilderness:  Chicago Wilderness is a regional nature reserve that includes more than 225,000  acres of protected natural areas. It stretches from southeastern Wisconsin, through northeastern Illinois and into northwestern Indiana.  This site has some things of regional interest.


Native Plant Nurseries – Chicagoland

2018 NATIVE PLANT SALES (Chicagoland)

2018 Native Plant Sales


Monarch butterfly web tutorial A 57 minute tutorial

2017 Monarch Population 2017 Winter census.

Monarch Conservation Overview Reasons for the Monarch’s decline.

2014 Spring Migration Map Status of early June 2014 migration.

Learn about Milkweed  Our own Monarch primer, from the MJV.

White House pollinator garden Website mentions milkplants at the White House and Round Up herbicide.

Weather Stress on the Monarch Winter 2014 population news.

Northeast Illinois Milkweed Natives Native milkweed in NE Illinois counties.

Wild for Monarchs Another resource, with kids activities.

Monarch buttgerflies only lay eggs on milkweed. Here one is laying eggs on marsh milkweed (asclepia incarnata).

Monarch buttgerflies only lay eggs on milkweed. Here one is laying eggs on marsh milkweed (asclepia incarnata).

Wild Ones Journal Magazine – Online

Click this link: Members Page  to take you to the members only page where you can read recent issues of the Wild Ones Journal magazine by subsequently clicking the “Online Journal” link.   If you have not previously registered to use the Members Page, follow the links to create a password.

Member Yards

  • Parnell and Sandi O’Brien, Homer Glen, IL :  Twin Lakes Prairie: A Prairie Reconstruction is a web site about the efforts of Parnell and Sandi to restore a storm water retention basin that was formerly a ravine and stream that ran through the site. They began work on their property in the fall of 2009.  All restoration work was performed without the use of power tools. This site contains a lot of useful data and photos.
  • Don & Benia Zouras, Bartlett, IL :  Native Suburbia is how Don & Benia refer to their yard.  This site serves as a way to share their experience of transforming a typical suburban yard in Bartlett, Illinois into a native plant preserve. It includes pictures of the process from the very beginning and is helpful in showing newcomers to Wild Ones how they could transform their own yards.

Plant Identification

  • USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service:  Home of the PLANTS Database, which provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. It includes names, plant symbols, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, plant links, references and crop information.
  • USDA Forest Service – Northeast Research Station:  This site contains a wide variety of information. The most useful is the ability to search the Illinois Plant Identification Network (ILPIN).
  • Illinois Wildflowers:  This site, maintained by John Hilty, has descriptions, photographs, and range maps of many wildflowers in Illinois. These consist primarily of herbaceous flowering plants and a few small shrubs, whether native to Illinois or introduced from somewhere else.
  • Prairie Restoration, Digital Aid Featuring Seeds, Seedlings, and Fruits:  This site aids in the identification of prairie plant species in the early  stages.  It provides digital images of seeds, seedlings, and fruits for selected tallgrass prairie species.
  • Offwell Woodland & Wildlife Trust – Grass Identification Guide (UK):  A guide to identifying grasses by Jean Turner. This is part of a British wildlife, conservation & environmental education site. While it doesn’t cover grasses native to the U.S., it is a good way to learn about grasses.
  • Top U.S. Invasives:  A good list of plants considered invasive in the U.S. There are many pictures and detailed descriptions.
  • Weeds Gone Wild:  Provides information on the serious threat and impacts of invasive alien plants to the native flora, fauna, and natural ecosystems of the United States.
  • Garden Web – Name That Plant!:  This is a public forum where gardening enthusiasts gather. If you post a picture of an unidentified plant, someone may be able to help you. Your mileage may vary.

Recommended Books

  • Noah’s Garden:  A former old-style suburban gardener, Sara Stein writes convincingly of the ecological history of suburbia and the necessity of good stewardship of the land stolen from prairies and forests to make our back yards.
  • Bringing Nature Home :  A terrific book that stresses the importance that an individual can make with their own yard.  Unique to this book are a list of which trees best support more species of butterflies, and a section “What Does Bird Food Look Like?” that is itself an easy read primer of common insects.
  • Common Weeds of the United States:  Covers 220 weeds with illustrations, maps, botanical information and plant lore for each.
  • Weeds of the Northeast:  A practical illustrated guide for identification of 299 common and economically important “weeds”.  This book has good pictures and vegetative descriptions.  Just remember that many native plants are unfairly classified as weeds by books like this.
  • Peterson Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-Central North America:  Grouped by color and by plant characteristics, 1,293 species in 84 families are described and illustrated. Included here are many of the flowers you’re likely to encounter in the eastern and north-central U.S.
  • Field Guide to the Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes of the Northern United States:  With quantitative descriptions and 500 drawings, this little book will help you to differentiate over 370 of the most common species of grasses and sedges. This book is not heavy on details, but it is a good peek into the world of grasses.
  • The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook: For Prairies, Savannas, and Woodlands:  This “how-to” restoration manual provides a detailed account of what has been learned about the art and science of prairie and savanna restoration and the application of that knowledge to restoration projects.
  • The Tallgrass Prairie – An Introduction by Cindy-Crosby:   For the uninitiated, to help learn the plants.