Category: Northeast Chapter

Recollections of Prairie Discovery

When my parents moved to Northbrook in 1951, the entire area between Crabtree Lane and Dundee Road was prairie and unchanneled west fork of the north branch of the Chicago River (except for a handful of houses on the north side of Crabtree Lane near Western Ave). Many natural prairie areas that had never been…
Read more

Saving Dune Willow

Dune willow (Salix syrticola) is an Illinois Endangered species found at only a few lakeshore sites in northeastern IL. David Johannesen, a Plants of Concern volunteer, raised an alert in 2020 when he discovered plants were being lost to lakeshore erosion, and flooding had submerged half of the 10 remaining dune willows at Illinois Beach…
Read more

Confusing rues: identifying false rue anemone and rue anemone

If you get Enemion biternatum and Thalictrum thalictroides mixed up, you’re not alone. It doesn’t help that their common names—false rue anemone and rue anemone—are so similar. Both spring ephemerals are in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). Both have typically white petaloid sepals and three-lobed leaves. Here are some differences in their appearance: E. biternatum has…
Read more

An Overview of The Morton Arboretum Natural Areas Conservation Training Program

The Morton Arboretum is iconic for many reasons. And I’m not sure founder Joy Morton had any idea that his grand idea would evolve into an international center for tree research, centered in its labs and respected herbarium, almost 100 years later. In 1940, their first superintendent, Clarence Godschalk, hired teacher May Theilgaard Watts. May…
Read more

Botanist Biographies: Mary Agnes Chase

While researching an article for Erigenia, the peer-reviewed journal of the Illinois Native Plant Society, I ran across a notation about a “Mrs. Chase.” Since she was the only woman mentioned amid many eminent male botanists, my interest was piqued. A cursory internet search for her yielded no immediate helpful results so I dropped it…
Read more

Tall Goldenrod Management in Tallgrass Prairies

Tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima) is an aster family species native to a large portion of North America and introduced to Europe and Asia. This species has the beautiful golden-yellow flowers typical of other goldenrods, and blooms from late summer into the fall. The plants tend to stand out at the end of their flowering period…
Read more

Statement on the Proposed Chicago Managed Native Garden Registry

March 19, 2021 We are writing as concerned members and board of the Northeast Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society (INPS). The mission of the INPS is to promote the study, appreciation, and conservation of the native flora and natural communities of Illinois. A recently proposed ordinance to create a Managed Native Garden Registry…
Read more

Chicago Managed Native Garden Registry Town Hall (March 2nd) at 7PM

Chicago Managed Native Garden Registry Town HallTuesday, March 2nd, 2021 at 7PMRSVP (Zoom) Join a virtual “town hall” on the proposed Managed Native Garden Registry Ordinance for the City of Chicago on Tuesday, March 2nd at 7PM. Representatives from the offices of co-sponsoring aldermen and the Department of Planning and Development will be present to…
Read more

The Scutellaria (Skullcaps) of Northeast Illinois

Scutellaria — or skullcap — species can be found in a variety of habitats in northeastern Illinois. These perennials belong to the mint family (note their opposite leaves); more than 470 species of skullcaps can be found worldwide, mainly in temperate regions. The genus name comes from the Latin scutella, meaning “square-shaped salver or tray;…
Read more

Plants with Stomachs

Somewhere in a lake near you, in a shallow bay, grows a floating plant with pouchlike sacs on its leaflets. The sacs each have a “spring- loaded” trap door that can open and shut in a fraction of a second. The “triggers” are hairs, known as “trichomes” in plants, around the mouth of the sac.…
Read more