ILLINOIS WILD FLOWERS is a representative, though not complete, collection of photographs of our native wild flowers, most of which were made by Doctor John Voss. They are arranged according to season, beginning with the opening of the earliest flowers in the year - a period which may be winter one day and spring the next, yet is neither. Then come the abundant flowers of the spring woods and swamps. This is the first peak of abundant bloom; during the blossoming season there are several such peaks. By early June there is a waning. The early flowers are past; they are making seeds, storing food in roots and bulbs; the leaves in many are turning yellow. By June, flowers are coming to fields and roadsides and there are few or none to be. found in woods where shade is deep.
During the summer the majority of flowers bloom in the broad and sunny places. The sandy wastes, the swamps, the uplands, the fields, the roadsides, all have flowers. A peak of bloom comes in mid-summer, then it wanes, then rises to a climax in late August and September when the flowers of the prairie roadsides are at their best. The forests now have their second great hurst of bloom as the woodland goldenrods, asters, snakeroots, Joe-pye weed, bellflower, and many others blossom. Then the season wanes, yet blossoming does not entirely cease, until the weather is below freezing. The unquenchable chickweed may be found in bloom at any month in the year. The witch hazel blooms in September, October, and November as the last spectacular flower of the year.
The flowers which are found from one end of Illinois to the other cover a distance of about four hundred miles. This stretch of latitude is equivalent to that lying between Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Portsmouth, Virginia, and the plants vary almost as much as those growing from New Hampshire to Virginia. Illinois has northern wild flowers; it has southern wild flowers; it has flowers from the western plains; flowers native to the east. The combination is unique; no other state can claim the exact mixture and resultant magnificence in wild flowers. Its flowers are as individual and as much a part of the character of Illinois as the trees, cities, farms, and animals of the Prairie State.
"Illinois Wild Flowers" was made possible through the kindness and assistance of Doctor George D. Fuller, whose critical comments and additions to the manuscript are highly valued; Doctor Blanche McAvoy, Illinois State Normal University, for reading and criticizing a portion of the manuscript; Doctor Glen Winterringer, assistant botanist at the Illinois State Museum for help in identifying plants; Herman Eifert for assistance in collecting additional plants to be photographed; and to photographers Russell Carter (on pp. 54, 131, 177, 185, 192, 208, 209, 221, 226, 230); Charles Hodge (on pp. 54, 131, 208); Gilbert Wright (on pp. 228, 233); and V. S. Eifert (on pp. 29, 57, 121, 167, 179, 184, 194, 196, 197, 202, 203, 210, 216, 219, 220, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 231, 232, 234, 235, 236) for additions to John Voss's collect ion to fill gaps in the seasonal sequence. To all of these and more, the author and the Illinois State Museum offer grateful thanks.
Because the flowers in this hook appear according to season and time of bloom, a check list of plants found here, arranged according to families in the Flora of Illinois by G. N. Jones, is included (pp. 238-245) for those familiar with their scientific names.
Virginia S. Eifert Springfield 1 April 1951.