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USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’. Knowing your zone number is helpful when shopping for plants because:

  • Cold-area gardeners can avoid buying plants that simply won’t survive their lowest winter temperatures.
  • Warm-area gardeners can steer clear of plants that need a period of cold weather in order to bloom again.
Find your Plant Hardiness Zone here.

Illinois State Flower and State Bird

Illinois  State Flower and Bird

Cardinal ~ Richmondena cardinalis
A streak of red, sharp against the winter sky, darts across a meadow and comes to rest on top of a snow bank. "In richness of plumage, elegance of motion and strength of song, this species surpasses all its kindred in the United States," declared Audubon. Seven states--Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia--agree with Audubon, as all have chosen this prince as their official state bird.

Violet ~ Viola pedata
Commonly known in the Midwest as the Birdsfoot Violet, Viola pedata is easily distinguishable from other Violet species because its leaves are cleft into segments resembling a bird's foot. English literature is full of references to this Violet, where the poets often use it in reference to the gentler qualities of life. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote exquisitely of the Violet: "Deep violets, you liken to the kindest eyes that look on you without a thought disloyal." Shakespeare's Violets are the flowers of vanishing youth; perhaps he means us to read in the Violet a message to seize life before it is gone.

From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issues July 24, 1992:

Illinois State Flower and Bird
Illinois Wildflower - Shooting Star Art from the 50-stamp series, State Birds and Flowers, issued April 14, 1982 simultaneously in all state capitals.
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