Plants

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  1. White Lady's Slipper

    Witness the unusual beauty of this wild orchid, found only at the edge of a sphagnum bog or in low meadows. Though the blooming period is short, only a few weeks in May and June, the White Lady's Slipper is found throughout the Midwestern and Atlantic states. Learn More
  2. Flowering Dogwood

    With over forty five different types of Dogwoods found in the United States, this plant ranges in size from a shrub to an immense tree. Used for wood, medicine, and dye, this plant features beautiful blossoms. Learn More
  3. Wild Geranium

    Learn how this flower became famous in the history of Botany, helping scientists understand the process of cross fertilization. This case shows the Wild Germanium growing in an Illinois grassland in late spring. Learn More
  4. Wild Ginger

    Though true ginger is a tropical plant, wild ginger rootstocks have a hot flavor similar to more common ginger found in grocery stores. Emerging first in the very early days of spring, this wild plant forms close mats over the ground. Learn More
  5. Hepatica (Liverwort)

    Witness this small and dainty wildflower's work as a harbinger of spring. The first blooming of the Liverwort, Hepatica's more common name, reuses the past year's leaves, called leather leaf. Shown here is the Liverwort wild flower in a wood during the early spring. Learn More
  6. Jack-in-the-Pulpit

    As a perennial, this plant will grow for many successive years on the same rootstock. The flowers of the Jack-in-the Pulpit are small, hidden, and petal less, growing in a preferred environment of rich, moist woods. This case features flowers growing against tree trunks. Learn More
  7. Yellow Lady's Slipper

    Ponder the serene colorations of this wild orchid, of which more than thirty types have been found in Chicago. As the most common variety of this tropical plant, the Yellow Lady's Slipper is in danger of extermination because of overzealous picking. Learn More
  8. Dog's Tooth Lily

    Like other lilies, this flower has parts that appear in sixes. Though this flower is common to gardens, the case portrays the Dog's Tooth Lily in its natural wooded environment. Learn More
  9. May Apple

    Don't confuse this fruit with a relative of the apple, it is actually a seed-filled berry! Examples of flowering, almost ripe, apples during the early spring show how these plants grow close together, emerging each year. Learn More
  10. Saprotrophic Fungi

    Did you know that mushrooms belong to the fungal kingdom, which also includes mildews, molds, rusts, and yeasts? Lacking a true root system, as well as chlorophyll, fungi are usually detrivores and among the only organisms which can decompose wood. A number of specimens are shown here, including the gemmed puffball, morel, field or horse mushroom, bracket fungi, sulphur polypore and both the cup and pear-shaped puffball. Learn More

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