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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden


June EcoQuest


Pumped for purple flowers

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis, is a native Illinois prairie plant. Blooming in late spring, it is easy to spot with its brilliant, royal blue flowers. During the few hours in the morning when spiderwort blooms it is pollinated by bees, especially bumblebees.

Eastern purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, attracts many bees and butterflies with its flowers forming a cone surrounded by purple rays. Its heart-shaped leaves are the best way to identify it.

Help Budburst find these important Chicagoland native prairie plants!

Search out swallowworts

Help Budburst find these invasive plants so they can be better controlled!

Pale swallowwort, Vincetoxicum rossicum, with pink to red star-shaped flowers and Black swallowwort, Vincetoxicum nigrum, with very dark purple, nearly black, star-shaped flowers are both vines with opposite oval leaves.

Both plants are native to Europe and have invaded areas in the US. They survive in a wide range of habitats with different light and moisture conditions.

How to observe and report


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