Blogs & Videos: Flowering Plants

Campaigning for CHANGE! Don't be Shallow - Vote for Mallow

In our last video we got to see one of the rarest flowers in the world blooming in its habitat for the first time in over a decade. It's the Kankakee mallow (Iliamna remota), under threat of extirpation and completely unique to Illinois... and we want to make it the official state flower! Field outreach coordinator Robb Telfer kicked off the campaign and we're TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS. It's an election year, after all. 

This flower only grows in the wild on a single tiny island... in Illinois.

The Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota) is a special little flower. The only place in the world it's found in the wild is on a single small island in the middle of the Kankakee River in Illinois - but until last year, it hadn't been seen in over a decade, and was feared to be extinct. Thanks to volunteer efforts, we got to be some of the first to see it back in bloom!

Group of people posing next to river

Hitting the Pavement to Save Endangered Plants

What if a rare plant is living right in your backyard? Well, it just might be. But how do you find out it’s there, and what can you do with that information? Right now, some local endangered plant species are making a surprise comeback. They grow in the Calumet region, which includes the southern part of Chicago and northern Indiana. Two kinds of sedge, a grass-like flowering plant, recently set down roots on a field of slag. This hard material comes from making steel and is usually seen as toxic to nature.  

Born from the Ashes

You know that part in Game of Thrones where the dragon eggs hatch when they’re put in fire? This is like that, but with a super-endangered flower. Illinois’s only native wildflower, the Kankakee mallow, has been missing from this state for years—it was presumed extinct in its native habitat. But this year, Field Museum scientists and volunteers from the Friends of Langham Island group were able to bring it back. Their secret? Setting fire to the ground where the plants once lived.

New Rapid Color Guide - Common Goldenrods of the Chicago Region

The Field Museum's Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation recently produced a new rapid color guide to goldenrods of the Chicago Region.  A free full-color guide can be downloaded from our webpage at www.fieldmuseum.org/IDtools.  Take it into the field this weekend and start identifying those pesky, confusing goldenrod species.

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