plant species

Work on the ponds involved removing invasive plants and cattails, grading and mulching the banks, planting new beds along the banks and installing over 26,000 plantings. The plantings included a variety of native submergent and upland, or prairie, plants. >> Learn More

Acorus_calamus Asclepias_Incarnata angelica_atropurpurea Aster_ericoides
Acorus calamus Asclepias Incarnata Angelica atropurpurea Aster ericoides

The ponds are planted with individual species of forbs, grasses, sedge, and rushes common to wetland and prairie communities and provide a look at various types of native plant communities found in Illinois.


• Sedge meadow plants such as Mimulus ringens (monkey flower) and the many species of Carex (sedge) tolerate soil saturation or seasonal inundation.

• Shallow water–emergent plants such as Peltanda virginica (arrow arum), Scirpus (bulrush), and Juncus (rush) are often inundated for much of the year with one foot or less of water, but they can withstand water receding during the summer.

• Deep water–emergent or floating leaf plants such as Nelumbo lutea (American lotus) and Nymphaea odorata (water lily) are found in water 1 to 3 feet deep and rarely dry out.


• Mesic prairie plants such as Echinacea pallida (pale purple coneflower) and Aster laevis (smooth aster) occur on moisture– retentive soils in flat or gently rolling terrain.

• Dry prairie plants such as Sporobolus heterolepsis (prairie dropseed) and Bouteloua curtipendula (side-oats grama) occur on well-drained upland sandy or gravelly sites.

• Wet mesic prairie plants such as Liatris spicata (dense blazing star) and Aster novae-angliae (New England aster) occur on rich moisture–retentive soils.

• Wet prairie plants such as Helenium autumnale (autumn sneezeweed) and Rudbeckia subtomentosa (sweet black-eyed Susan) are seasonally inundated in low spots or flat terrain