Photo by Sheryl DeVore Photo by Steven D. Bailey
Marsh marigolds at Ryerson Conservation Area near Riverwoods Grove, in spring to watch the succession of ephemerals blooming, with Virginia bluebells at the beginning of spring and May apples and jack-in-the-pulpit toward the end of the spring. “If we don’t have the native flowers growing, then we won’t have native birds and insects and other animals,” says Miller, a Grayslake resident. Saari notes that most ephemerals cannot tolerate a lot of disturbance, although spring beauty, one of the hardiest, will even grow in lawns. As climate changes and temperature and moisture change from year to year, the peak blooming times can vary
Photo by Sheryl DeVore
Great white trillium at Wright Woods near Vernon Hills
for spring ephemerals. Fifty or more spring ephemeral species can be seen in our area. Below is a list from earlier to later of some of the more common bloomers in northern Illinois. Peak blooming times vary from north to south, plus wildflowers overlap in blooming time. Sheryl DeVore writes nature and science articles for national and regional publications, and has written four books on birds and nature. Contact her at Sheryl.Devore@ comcast.net.
Some Spring Ephemerals of the Chicago Region Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) Bloodroot (Sanguinaria candensis) Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) False rue-anemone (Enemion biternatum) Prairie trillium (Trillium recurvatum) Large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) May apple (Podophyllum peltatum) Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Spring Wildflower Walks Here are four wildflowers walks to attend. Registration is required. Call first. April 20 – 1 p.m. Spring Wildflower Walk Sagawau Environmental Learning Center 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont. Free. Call 630-257-2045 April 28 – 2-4 p.m. Woodland Wildflowers and Wildlife Ryerson Conservation Area 21950 Riverwoods Rd., Riverwoods $5-$7. Call 847-968-3321 May 11 – 9:30-11 a.m. Wildflower Walking Tour Emily Oaks Nature Center 4650 Brummel St., Skokie $5-$6. Call 847-677-7001 May 11 – 1-3 p.m. Wonders of Wildflowers Messenger Woods 13800 W. Bruce Rd., Homer Glen Free. Call 708-946-2216
To see photos of the region’s wildflowers including spring ephemerals, visit Extension.Illinois.edu/wildflowers. April 2019
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