American Bugseed - Corispermum americanum


 This weird looking annual plant just appeared one day.  It took us a while to figure it out, but we are happy to have it on the beach where it loves the sand. 

Black-eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hart


A surprise find in the summer of 2017.  It is a biennial and therefore short lived.  We hope it will reseed itself and return this season. 

Butterfly Weed - Asclepias tuberosa


PERENNIAL HERB. Stems are hairy, erect, and grow in large clumps. Lanceolate, alternate leaves. Bright orange flowers with five petals at the end of branches. Fruits are hairy pods; seeds have long white hairs that are characteristic of the milkweed species.

Common Milkweed - Asclepias syriaca


HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL 2-6 Ft tall, with umbels of pink flowers that develop into large seed pods.  The seeds disperse by the wind. 

Horsemint - Monarda punctata


PERENNIAL WILDFLOWER. 1-3 Ft. Tall. Lanceolate, hairy leaves. Terminal and axillary flowers. Typically short-lived, though some live for up to one or two years. The leaves and flowers provide a lovely color range: yellow, pale pink, lavender, and white. 

Pale Purple Coneflower - Echinacea pallida


Planted in summer 2018, this coneflower prefers a dry climate.  It attracts lots of bees as well as butterflies with long tongues.

Partridge Pea - Chamaecrista fasciculata


We discovered this beauty when we were here watching the solar eclipse!  An annual that we hope will reseed and return year after year. 

Rough Blazingstar - Liatris aspera


PERENNIAL. 2-5 Ft. Green or dark red erect stem. Pink or purple flowers along the stem. Flowers bloom from top to bottom throughout the blooming season. Small colonies can develop from a mother plant. 

Sand Corelopsis - Coreopsis lanceolata


CLUMP-FORMING PERENNIAL HERB. Short rhizomes. Flowers 1-2 inches in diameter bloom upright from April to June. Dark brown seeds. Grows easily from transplants. Said to be uncommon in Illinois. Look for this flower throughout the Sanctuary.

Spiderwort - Tradescantia ohiensis


HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL. 2-4 Ft. Tall. Central stem with grey or blue-green alternate leaves. Flowers open during the morning and close by the evening in sunny weather. They stay open longer on cloudy days. 

Trailing Wild Bean - Strophostyles helvola


 This prolific volunteer can be seen throughout our sandy areas, even twinning up some of our shrubs.  Although it has a pretty little flower with a slender bean, it does not seem to attract as much wildlife as some of our other plants.  

Winged Pigweed - Cycloloma atriplicifolium


This is another annual that loves our harsh environment.  We call it Illinois Tumbleweed because that is what it resembles in the fall and winter. It is a gorgeous purple in the fall. 



What is an invasive species?

We select and plant flowering species that we want to grow on the beach. Others come on their own. Sometimes we are thrilled to see a new species arrive--but sometimes we are not. For example, a new plant may crowd out other plants that are beneficial for the birds. 

Some unwanted plants are native to the Midwest, but highly aggressive. Some were imported for gardens and other uses. We call all unwanted plants that show up on the beach "invasive."

Bouncing Bet - Saponaria officinalis


 This very persistent perennial has a beautiful flower but is very aggressive crowding out the flowers that the birds and insects really want. .

Butter and Eggs - Linaria vulgaris


Another very pretty flower that escaped from peoples gardens and loves to spread.

Garlic Mustard - Alliaria petiolata


This early spring mustard is also a biennial, relatively easy to pull and a bane in many forested areas.  We have it in our remnant and if we are diligent, can keep on top of it.  Some of our volunteers take it home to eat.

White Sweet Clover - Melilotus alba


A relatively easy plant to pull.  It is a biennial.  If we can keep it from flowering we can make deep dents in its population.