how to create wildlife habitats

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A Large Wheaton, Illinois, Backyard

April is introducing the magnificent Cup Plant, Silphium perfoliatum. This is a very much loved plant by native gardeners.

The large leaves embrace the square stem in such a manner as to form a "cup" which retains water for birds and insects long after a rain.

This is a large and agressive plant. Make sure it has plenty of room. It enjoys full sun to light shade and average to wet soil.

Another large plant that enjoys the same conditions as the Cup Plant is Sweet Indian Plaintain, Cacalia suaveolens.

Some interesting features of this plant, besides its large stature, are its distinctive arrow-head like leaves and flat clusters of white flowers which attract clouds of black wasps.

In the background, hidden by the trees, is a ravine with a small stream running through it, which is home to a family of happy beavers.

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