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A Shady Area in Downers Grove, Ilionois

Mollie is an avid and enthusiastic gardener. She volunteers a lot of time at garden clubs and at the Morton Arboretum.

The landscape she created welcomes one to their home.

Lets take a look at some of the plants that we added or that were already present in the wooded grove.

The Midland Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadia (left), is found in the prairies and in the woods. A mature plant like this is several years old. It takes several years to develop a flower. After flowering it completely disappears.

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum (right), is also short -- one to two feet tall -- and flowers in the Spring. It is a beautiful pink and its leaves stay around for a long while.

The beautiful Wild Hyacinth, Camassia scilloides (left), is a real showstopper. One to two feet tall -- it grows in drifts in the prairie or open woods.

Celadine Poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum (right), is a beautiful butter yellow. It can form a thick clump about two to three feet tall and has hairy seed pods. (See photo.) It is relatively easy to spread by seed.

It looks like somebody got to the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum (left), before we could take this picture. It is generally about a foot tall, but I have seen some real whoppers.

Christmas Fern, Phystichum acostichoides (right), is small and stays green for a long time -- until Christmas.

Miterwort (also called Bishop's Cap), Mitella diaphulla (left), has beautiful cupped snowflake-like flowers. It is best observed with a small magnifying glass. A few tiny black seeds reside in these cups in the Fall.

A small Rue Anemone, Anemonella thalictroides (right), is a member of the buttercup family. It looks so delicate that one woruld think it belongs in a jeweler's showcase.

There are many varieties of Trilliums which are members of the Lilly family. They are found in the rich woods where they form large drifts. They come from a bulb much like a tulip. The Wakerobin Trillium, Trillium erectum (left), has a beautiful red flower and molted leaves.

The Large-flowered or White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum (right), sometimes fills a forest floor. The beautiful large white flowers turn pink as the season progresses and the flower ages.

The Virginia Bluebell, Mertensia virginica (left), has tiny pink buds emerging early on the forest floor. The lovely bell-shaped flower and whole plant completely disappear once the seed is set.

The Black Walnut Tree, Juglans nigra (right), provides delicious food for the squirrels and other critters. It has a beautiful peach-colored bud and flower as seen in the photo. Contrary to rumor, I see plently of other woodland plants growing around a Black Walnut Tree.

This Sharp-Lobed Hepatica, Hepatica acutiloba (left), has already flowered. This is a very short plant, under one foot, and its flowers are pink, white, lavender or light blue. The leaves are present throughout the year.

The Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense (right), spreads by rhi zomes and forms a thick "ground cover". Its small brown flower is hidden from view and is pollinated by ants and such. This ginger is not used as a food.

This Sweet Shrub, Calycanthus floridus, is planted in a bed against the house. It is very open and can get to about ten feet tall. It has picturesque maroon-colored flowers that are very fragrant. It flowers early in the year, likes it kind of sunny and has leaves that turn yellow in the Fall.

The Common Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana (left), has a lovely white bloom and is common throughout the woods in a variety of conditions. Its purple fruit in the Fall is eaten by hungry birds. This is a very good plant for attracting wildlife. Its leaves are orangish red in the Fall.

The Golden Current, Ribes odoratum oureum (right), has yellow flowers that smell like cloves. It is a member of the gooseberry family and has fruit which is loved by wildflife or can be turned into jelly or jam.

The Red Osier Dogwood, Cornus stolonifera (left), has white flowers in the Spring and white berries in the Fall contrasting wtih its maroon leaves and red stems. It can get quite large and should be cut back every few years.

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