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Green Landscaping: Greenacres

Native Plants of the Great Lakes

North Branch Restoration Project Seed Book

The North Branch Restoration Project is a volunteer organization working to restore and manage the few remaining savannas, woodlands, forests and prairies along the North Branch of the Chicago River in the Cook County Forest Preserves. The volunteers assist the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and other agencies in protecting and restoring native Illinois ecosystems. Through their hands-on work, the North Branch Restoration Project volunteers have developed this fabulous Seed Photo Project, tracking a variety of native plants from first flower to seed. Information on each plant includes details on when to pick the seeds. This is intended to guide seed harvesting efforts for restoration, but can also be used in your own yard. Remember to never pick seeds from the wild without permission from the landowner. We thank the North Branch Restoration Project for their generosity in sharing this work with us.

Coefficients of Conservatism
All of the plants included in the North Branch Seed Project are from the Chicago region and have a corresponding coefficient of conservatism (C) ranging from 0 to 10. This rating is useful when determining the probability that an individual plant species comes from an intact natural community.

For instance, a plant with a C value of 0 may have come from a natural community or may have come from the edge of a parking lot. A plant with a C value of 10 probably came from a natural area that was not terribly degraded. A plant with a C value of 5 probably came from a remnant natural plant community, which may or may not have been degraded.

Plants of the Chicago Region
The concept that remnant natural plant communities tend to be inhabited by concentrations of species faithful or conservative to them is described in detail and applied by Wilhelm (1977 & 1978). It was adopted and modified by Swink & Wilhelm (1979) and further refined by Wilhelm & Ladd (1988).

It is important to emphasize that the numerical values assigned to the native species are derived for the observed behavior of populations in the Chicago region. As one travels away from the region, locally applied values may become decreasingly valid and are not recommended for use outside the Chicago region. Coefficients of conservation for vascular plants have been developed for several geographic areas including northern Ohio (Andreas 1993), Missouri (Ladd in prep.) and Michigan (Herman et al. in prep.)


Actaea Pachypoda / Family: Ranunculaceae
     White Baneberry (Doll’s Eyes), Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Agastache Nepetoides / Family: Lamiaceae
     Yellow Giant Hyssop (Swink), Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Allium Cernuum / Family:
     Nodding Wild Onion, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Amphicarpea Bracteata / Family: Fabaceae
     Upland Hog Peanut, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Anemonella Thalictroides / Family: Ranunculaceae
     Rue Anemone, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Antennaria Neglecta / Family: Asteraceae
     Cat's Foot, Swink/Wilhelm #4
Antennaria Plantaginifolia / Family: Asteraceae
     Pussy Toes, Swink/Wilhelm # 3
Arenaria Lateriflora / Family:
     Wood Sandwort, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Arisaema Triphyllum / Family:
     Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Ascelpias Incarnata / Family:
     Swamp Milkweed, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Ascelpias Tuberosa / Family:
     Butterfly Weed, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Aster Laevis / Family:
     Smooth Blue Aster, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Baptisia Leucantha / Family:
     White Wild Indigo, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Baptisia Leucophaea / Family: Fabaceae
     Cream Wild Indigo, Swink/Wilhelm # 10
Boltonia Latisquama/ Family: Asteracea
     False Aster, Swink/Wilhelm # 10
Cacalia Atriplicifolia / Family: Asteracea
     Pale Indian Plantain, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Camassia Scilloides / Family: Liliaceae
     Wild Hyacinth, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Cardamine Doulassii / Family: Brassicaceae
     Purple Spring Cress, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Ceanothus Americanus / Family: Rhamnaceae
     New Jersey Tea, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Cinna Arundinacea / Family: Poaceae
     Common Wood Reed, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Coreopsis Tripteris / Family: Asteraceae
     Tall Coreopsis, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Dentaria Laciniata / Family: Brassicaceae
     Cut-Leaved Toothwort, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Desmodium Canadense / Family:
     Snowy Tick Trefoil, Swink/Wilhelm # :
Desmodium Paniculatum / Family: Fabaceae
     Panicled Tick Trefoil,  Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Dodecatheon Meadia / Family: Primulaceae
     Shooting Star, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Eryngium Yuccifolium / Family: Apiaceae
     Rattlesnake Master, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Euonymous Obovatus / Family: Alastraceae
     Running Strawberry Bush, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Gentiana Andrewsii / Family: Gentianaceae
     Bottle Gentian, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Gentiana Crinita / Family: Gentianaceae
     Fringed Gentian, Swink/Wilhelm # 10
Gentiana Puberulenta / Family: Gentianaceae
     Downy Gentian, Swink/Wilhelm # 10
Hydrophyllum Virginianum / Family: Hydrophyllaceae
     Virginia Waterleaf, Swink/Wilhelm # 5

Hypericum Pyamidatum / Family:

     Great St. John's Wort,
Hypoxis Hirsuta / Family: Amaryllidaceae
     Yellow Star Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Hystrix Patula / Family: Poaceae
     Bottlebrush Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Isopyrum Biternatum / Family: Ranunculaceae
     False Rue Anemone, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Krigia Biflora / Family: Asteraceae
     False Dandelion, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Lespedeza Capitata / Family: Fabaceae
     Round-Headed Bush Clover, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Liatris Aspera / Family: Asteraceae
     Rough Blazing Star, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Liatris Spicata / Family: Asteraceae
     Marsh Blazing Star, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Lithospermum Canescens / Family: Boraginaceae
     Hoary Puccoon, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Lonicera Prolifera / Family: Caprifoliaceae
     Yellow Honeysuckle,  Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Monarda Fistulosa / Family: Lamiaceae
     Wild Bergamot, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Osmoriza Claytonii / Family: Umbelliferae
     Hairy Sweet Cicely, Swink/Wilhelm # 3
Oxalis Violacea / Family: Oxalidaceae
     Violet Wood Sorrel, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Pedicularis Canadensis / Family: Scrophulariaceae
     Wood Betony/Lousewort, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Penstemon Calycosus / Family: Scrophulariaceae
     Smooth Beard Tongue, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Petalostemum Candidum / Family: Fabaceae
     White Prairie Clover, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Petalostemum Purpureum / Family: Fabaceae
     Purple Prairie Clover, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Phlox Divaricata / Family: Polemoniaceae
     Woodland Phlox, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Potentilla Arguta / Family: Rosaceae
     Prairie Cinquefoil, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Prenanthes Racemosa / Family: Asteraceae
     Glaucous White Lettuce, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Ratibida Pinnata / Family: Asteraceae
     Yellow Coneflower, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Rudbeckia Subtomentosa / Family: Asteraceae
     Sweet Black-Eyed Susan, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Sanguinaria Canadensis / Family: Papaveraceae
     Bloodroot, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Seymeria Macrophylla / Family: Scrophulariaceae
     Mullein Foxglove, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Silene Stellata / Family: Caryophyllaceae
     Starry Campion, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Silphium Integrifolium / Family: Asteraceae
     Rosin Weed, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Silphium Laciniatum / Family: Asteraceae
     Compass Plant, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Sisyrinchium Albidum / Family: Iridaceae
     Blue-Eyed Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Solidago Juncea / Family: Asteraceae
     Early Goldenrod, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Solidago Nemoralis / Family: Asteraceae
     Old-Field Goldenrod, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Solidago Ridiga / Family: Asteraceae
     Stiff Goldenrod, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Taenidia Integerrima / Family: Apiaceae
     Yellow Pimpernel, Swink/Wilhelm # 9
Thalictrum Dioicum / Family: Ranunculaceae
     Early Meadow Rue, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Tradescantia Ohiensis / Family: Commelinaceae
     Common Spiderwort, Swink/Wilhelm # 2
Trillium Grandiflorum / Family: Liliaceae
     Large Flowered Trillium, Swink/Wilhelm # 8
Triosteum Perfoliatum / Family: Caprifoliaceae
     Late Horse Gentian / Wild Coffee, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Vernonia Fasciculata / Family: Asteraceae
     Common Ironweed, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Veronicastrum Virginicum / Family: Scrophlariaceae
     Culver’s Root, Swink/Wilhelm #7
Viola Pedatifida / Family: Violaceae
     Prairie Violet, Swink/Wilhelm # 9

Grasses and Sedges

Andropogon Gerardii / Family: Poaceae
     Big Bluestem, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Andropogon Scoparius / Family: Poaceae
     Little Bluestem (SCHIZACHYRIUM SCOPARIUM), Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Bromus Kalmii / Family: Poaceae
     Prairie Brome, Swink/Wilhelm # 10
Bromus Pubescens (PURGANS) / Family: Poaceae
     Woodland Brome, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Carex Davisii / Family: Cyperaceae
     Awned Graceful Sedge, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Carex Grayi / Family: Cyperaceae
     Common Bur Sedge, Swink/Wilhelm # 7
Carex Pensylvanica / Family: Cyperaceae
     Common Oak Sedge, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Elymus Canadensis / Family: Poaceae
     Canada/Nodding Wild Rye, Swink/Wilhelm # 4  
Elymus Villosus / Family: Poaceae
     Silky Wild Rye, Swink/Wilhelm # 5   
Elymus Virginicus / Family: Poaceae
     Virginia Rye, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Panicum Latifolium / Family: Poaceae
     Broad-Leaved Panic Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Panicum Virgatum / Family: Poaceae
     Switch Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 5
Sorghastrum Nutans / Family: Poaceae
     Indian Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 6
Spartina Pectinata / Family: Poaceae
     Prairie Cord Grass, Swink/Wilhelm # 4
Sporobolus Heterolepis / Family: Poaceae
     Prairie/Northern Dropseed, Swink/Wilhelm # 10


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