Reconnecting
People
and
Nature
Login  |  Register  |  Search

Resources

Bring More Life into Your Landscape

RECOMMENDED NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES

These are native plant communities patterned after those found in natural areas.They are in the process of being established at the Small Waters demonstration food forest. Each community has nectar sources from spring till fall, nitrogen fixers, grasses or sedges for keeping out weeds, and spring-blooming plants for nutrient dams. Together, these communities make a diverse, multi-layered, open woodland that produces a perennial harvest for people and habitat for wildlife.

BUTTERNUT COMMUNITY for moist soil

common name   botanical name   some functions

Butternut  Juglans cinerea   edible nuts

Silky Wild Rye   Elymus villosus   weed control

Woodland Phlox   Phlox divericata   nectary

Wild Golden Glow   Rudbeckia laciniata   nectary

Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod   Solidago caesia   nectary

Showy Tick-Trefoil   Desmodium canadense   nitrogen fixer, nectary

Wild Leek   Allium tricoccum   nutrient dam, edible leaves, bulbs

False Rue Anemone   Isopyrum biternatum   nutrient dam


SERVICEBERRY COMMUNITY for medium to dry soil

common name   botanical name   some functions

Serviceberry   Amelanchier laevis   edible berries

Oak Sedge   Carex pennsylvanica   weed control

Feathery Solomon’s Plume   Smilacina racemosa   edible spring stalks

Pussytoes   Antennaria plantaginifolia   butterfly host

Wild Geranium   Geranium maculatum   nectary

Solomon’s Seal   Polygonatum canaliculatum   edible spring stalks

Red Trillium   Trillium recurvatum   nutrient dam

Spring Beauty   Claytonia virginica   nutrient dam

Wild Blue Indigo   Baptisia australis   nitrogen fixer, nectary

Zigzag Goldenrod   Solidago flexicaulis   nectary


PAWPAW/SPICEBUSH COMMUNITY for medium soil

common name   botanical name   some functions

Pawpaw   Asimina triloba   edible fruit, butterfly host

Spicebush   Lindera benzoin   leaves and buds for tea, butterfly host

Ostrich fern   Matteuccia struthiopteris   edible spring fiddleheads

Wild ginger   Asarum canadense   roots for tea and spice, nutrient dam

Downy yellow violet   Viola pubescens   nectar, butterfly host, edible leaves

Feathery Solomon’s Plume   Smilacina racemosa   edible spring stalks

Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod   Solidago caesia   nectary

Shining Bur Sedge   Carex intumescens   weed control


ELDERBERRY/NANNYBERRY/CRANBERRY COMMUNITY for medium to wet soil

common namebotanical namesome functions

Elderberry   Sambucus canadensis   edible and medicinal fruit, flowers

Nannyberry   Viburnum lentago   edible fruit, butterfly host

American Highbush Cranberry   Viburnum trilobum   edible fruit, butterfly host

Fowl Manna Grass   Glyceria striata   weed control

Sweetgrass   Hierochloe odorata   weed control, incense

Jack in the Pulpit   Arisaema triphyllum   nutrient dam

Spring Beauty   Claytonia virginica   nutrient dam

Groundnut   Apios americana   edible tubers

Virginia Waterleaf   Hydrophyllum virginianum   edible spring leaves

Honewort   Cryptotaenia canadensis   nectary

Arrow-leaved Aster   Aster sagitifolius   nectary


BOOKS

Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison with Reny Mia Slay

Edible Forest Gardens Vol. I and II by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier

Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One-Tenth of an Acre and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City by Eric Toensmeier with Jonathan Bates

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas Tallamy

Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife by David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation

Plants of the Chicago Region by Floyd Swink and Gerould Wilhelm

Vegetation of Wisconsin by John Curtis

The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants bySamuel Thayer

Edible Wild Plants of the Prairie: an Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher

Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land by Steven I. Apfelbaum and Alan Haney


NATIVE PLANT SOURCES

Red Buffalo Nursery, Hebron,IL 815-648-4838 redbuffalonursery.com (user-friendly plant database)

Prairie Moon Nursery, Winona, MN 866-417-8156 prairiemoon.com (native plants and seed, info on propagating from seed)

Possibility Place Nursery, Monee, IL 708-534-3988 possibilityplace.com (Plants native to NE IL) 

Prairie Nursery, Westfield, WI 800-476-9453  prairienursery.com (Info on preparing sites for planting)


Gardening for Life Article by Douglas Tallamy 

Directions for making a native bee nest box


Serving the Chicago Wilderness Area of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin

Reconnecting People and Nature

This non-profits service by Grassroots.org and Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder