Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

List of the Vascular Plants at Site M, Cass County, Illinois

K.R. RobertsonL. R. Phillippe, and G. A. Levin

Located about 30 miles northwest of Springfield, Illinois lies one of the state's newest conservation and recreation areas. Known as Site M, this area in Cass County consists of almost 24.5 square miles in a single contiguous holding . Commonwealth Edison Company originally acquired the land for a coal-fired electrical power plant and cooling lake, but decreasing electrical demand eliminated the need for such a facility. In 1993, Site M was purchased by the Illinois Department of Conservation.

Although the land now has a single owner, its history of diverse ownership resulted in a mosaic of habitat types of widely varying natural quality. About half of Site M is cropland, much of which has been leased to farmers. Another 20% is pastureland. Cattle have been removed from most of the Site M, but their impact is clear, not only on the former pastures but throughout the area, including the forests that cover another third of Site M. Still, there are patches of woods that, because of steep terrain, natural barriers like creeks, or the former owners' management, retain higher quality. These forests have a diversity of tree species and sizes, and a higher diversity of spring woodland wildflowers. Botanically the most significant vegetation type on Site M is hill prairie. Found on slopes that are too steep to cultivate, hill prairies require periodic burning to exclude trees and shrubs. The largest series at Site M is found in the Cox Creek Hill Prairie Natural Area, recognized as a Grade B Loess Hill Prairie by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. With restoration of adjacent pasturelands that were formerly prairie, this area has the potential to become the largest hill prairie complex in the state.

During 1994, we did extensive field work at Site M to determine the natural quality of the woodlands and hill prairies and to develop a list of vascular plants. We found a total of 593 taxa of vascular plants. All of these were vouchered by herbarium specimens, which are deposited in the herbarium of the Illinois Natural History Survey (ILLS). Of the 593 taxa, 468 are native, while 125 are introduced and include many agricultural weeds, which is to be expected with the extensive row crops and cattle grazing that has occurred at Site M. Undoubtedly there are other plant species present at Site M that we missed, given the large area of Site M.

Considering the large number of plants reported for Cass County (1147 species, subspecies, varieties, and hybrids), we had anticipated finding a higher number of species at Site M. However, Site M lacks several plant communities found in other parts of Cass County, such as wet to dry sand prairies, sand ponds, savannas, and high quality wetlands. Further, the list of woodland herbaceous plants for Site M is particularly depauperate.

The following table gives a list of all vascular plants that were observed during field work conducted during 1994 at Site M in Cass County, Illinois.

Genera beginning with A - E are given below. 
Go to F - P 
Go to Q - Z

Scientific Name

Native or Introduced

Habitat

 

Frequency of Occurrence

Endangered or Threatened

Cass County Record

Asclepias verticillata

native

hill prairies, pastures, hay fields

common

--

--

Abutilon theophrastii

introduced

agricultural fields

common

--

--

Acalypha deamii

native

above stream banks, on the channel bank, & in creek beds

common along Cox Creek and a tributary, also along Panther creek

threatened

new to Cass County

Acalypha rhomboidea

native

floodplains & stream banks

common

--

--

Acalypha virginica

native

ridge tops

infrequent

--

--

Acer negundo

native

floodplains

common

--

--

Acer nigrum

native

former home site

one tree seen

--

new to Cass County

Acer saccharinum

native

floodplains

infrequent

--

--

Acer saccharumvar. saccharum

native

woods

common

--

--

Achillea millefolium

introduced

pastures & hay fields

occasional

--

--

Acorus americanus

native

wet area

saw at two area

--

--

Actaea pachypoda

native

woods

occasional

--

--

Adiantum pedatum

native

woods

common

--

--

Aesculus glabra

native

woods

infrequent

--

--

Agalinis aspera

native

hill prairies

frequent on certain hill prairies

--

--

Agalinis skinneriana

native

hill prairies

frequent on hill prairies

threatened

new to Cass County

Agalinis tenuifolia

native

wet areas

infrequent

--

--

Agastache nepetoides

native

open intermitent streams

occasional

--

--

Agrimonia gryposepala

native

woods

infrequent

--

--

Agrimonia parviflora

native

moist areas in pastures

occasional

--

--

Agrimonia pubescens

native

woods

common

--

--

Agropyron repens

introduced

hay field

infrequent

--

--

Agrostis gigantea (A. alba)

introduced

along streams & hay fields

common

--

--

Agrostis perennans

native

creek bank

infrequent

--

--

Ailanthus altissima

introduced

pasture

only 1 tree seen

--

--

Alliaria petiolata

introduced

woods

common in southern part of area; occasional in northern part

--

new to Cass County

Alopecurus carolinianus

native

hay fields

infrequent

--

--

Amaranthus graecizans

introduced

waste areas, roadsides

occasional

--

--

Amaranthus hybridus

native

edges of crops fields

frequent

--

--

Amaranthus retroflexus

native

edges of crop fields

frequent

--

--

Amaranthus rudis

native

wet areas, roadside ditches

occasional

--

--

Amaranthus spinosus

introduced

current & old pastures

occasional

--

--

Ambrosia artemisiifolia

native

barnlots & old feedlots

occasional

--

--

Ambrosia trifidavar. trifida

native

edge of crop fields

common

--

--

Amorpha canescens

native

hill prairie

seen at 3 hill prairies

--

--

Ampelopsis cordata

native

woods near ridge tops

observed twice

--

--

Amphicarpa bracteata var. comosa

native

edge of crop fields & along streams

occasional

--

--

Anagallis arvensis

introduced

stream channels

infrequent

--

--

Andropogon gerardii

native

hill prairies

occasional

--

--

Anemone cylindrica

native

hill prairie

infrequent

--

--

Anemone virginiana

native

hill prairies & woods

occasional

--

--

Antennaria neglecta var. neglecta

native

degraded hill prairie

seen only once

--

--

Antennaria plantaginifoliavar. ambigens

native

woods & hill prairies

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Anthemis cotula

introduced

roadside

infrequent

--

--

Apios americana

native

along streams

occasional

--

--

Apocynum cannabinum

native

pastures, hill prairies

occasional

--

--

Apocynum sibiricum var.sibiricum

native

roadside at base of seep, wet areas

infrequent

--

new to Cass County

Aquilegia canadensis

native

roadside

rare

--

--

Arabis glabra

native

old field

infrequent

--

new to Cass County

Arctium minus

introduced

old home sites & barnlots

occasional

--

--

Arisaema dracontium

native

woods

infrequent

--

--

Arisaema triphyllum ssp.triphyllum

native

woods

infrequent

--

--

Aristida oligantha

native

old field

infrequent

--

--

Aristolochia serpentaria var.serpentaria

native

woods

infrequent

--

new to Cass County

Aruncus dioicus

native

woods

seen only in and along the edges of one wood

--

--

Asarum canadense var.reflexum

native

woods

occasional

--

--

Asclepias amplexicaulis

native

hill prairie

infrequent

--

--

Asclepias incarnata

native

pasture along stream & edge of ponds

infrequent

--

--

Asclepias syriaca

native

roadsides, along creeks

occasional

--

--

Asclepias tuberosa ssp.interior

native

dirt road on dry hillside

infrequent

--

--

Asclepias viridiflora

native

hill prairies

rare, only seen at two locations

--

--

Asparagus officinalis

introduced

roadsides

occasional

--

--

Asplenium platyneuron

native

old fields

common

--

--

Aster azureus (A. oolentangiensis)

native

hill prairies

common

--

--

Aster drummondii

native

mesic N-facing wooded slope

infrequent

--

--

Aster ericoidesvar. ericoides

native

hill prairies

common

--

--

Aster ericoidesvar. prostratus

native

hill prairies

infrequent

--

--

Aster lateriflorus

native

floodplains

common

--

--

Aster novae-angliae

native

hill prairies & floodplains

common

--

--

Aster oblongifolius

native

hill prairies

infrequent

--

--

Aster ontarionis

native

floodplains

common

--

--

Aster pilosus

native

pastures

common

--

--

Aster sericeus

native

hill prairies

not common

--

--

Aster urophyullus

native

wooded tributary of creek

not common

--

--

Aster xamethystinus

native

base of hill prairie

only seen once

--

new to Cass County

Astragalus canadensis

native

hill prairies

rare, only seen at two locations

--

--

Athyrium angustum

native

mesic woods

occasional

--

--

Barbarea vulgaris

introduced

hay field

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Belamcanda chinensis

introduced

hill prairies, woods

occasional

--

--

Bidens bipinnata

native

wet areas

occasional

--

--

Bidens cernua

native

edges of ponds

common

--

--

Bidens tripartita

native

floodplains, edges of ponds

common

--

--

Blephilia ciliata

native

open woods & roadsides

occasional

--

--

Boehmeria cylindrica

native

floodplains, creek beds

common

--

--

Botrychium dissectum var.dissectum

native

young woods

infrequent

--

--

Botrychium dissectum var.obliquum

native

young woods

infrequent

--

--

Botrychium virginianum

native

woods

common

--

--

Bouteloua curtipendula

native

hill prairies

common

--

--

Brachyelytrum erectum

native

woods

infrequent

--

--

Brassica nigra

introduced

disturbed areas

infrequent

--

--

Brickellia eupatorioides

native

hill prairies

common

--

--

Bromus arvensis

introduced

hay fields & roadsides

common

--

new to Cass County

Bromus commutatus

introduced

hay fields & roadsides

common

--

--

Bromus inermis

introduced

hay fields & roadsides

abundant

--

--

Bromus pubescens

native

woods

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Bromus pungens

native

pastures

abundant

--

--

Bromus tectorum

introduced

hay fields & roadsides

common

--

--

Cacalia atriplicifolia

native

hill prairies, roadsides

infrequent

--

--

Calystegia sepium ssp.americana

native

along streams, wet areas

common

--

--

Campanula americana

native

inside & edges of woods

common

--

--

Campsis radicans

native

floodplain

infrequent

--

--

Cannabis sativa

introduced

roadsides, pastures

abundant

--

--

Capsella bursa-pastoris

introduced

disturbed areas

common

--

--

Carduus nutans

introduced

pastures & hay fields

common

--

new to Cass County

Carex aggregata

native

hill prairie

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Carex annectens var.annectens

native

along streams & wet areas

common

--

--

Carex bicknellii

native

old fields

infrequent

--

--

Carex blanda

native

woods

common

--

--

Carex brevior

native

hill prairies

occasional

--

--

Carex bushii

native

old fields & upland woods

common

--

new to Cass County

Carex cephalophora

native

open woods & fields

occasional

--

--

Carex davisii

native

old fields & roadsides

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Carex frankii

native

bottomlands, around ponds, edges of streams

common

--

--

Carex gracilescens

native

woods

occasional

--

--

Carex granularis

native

seep

occasional

--

--

Carex gravidavar. gravida

native

floodplains

OCCASIONAL

--

--

Carex gravidavar. lanelliana

native

hill prairie

infrequent

--

new to Cass County

Carex grisea

native

woods

common

--

--

Carex hirsutella

native

old fields

OCCASIONAL

--

new to Cass County

Carex hirtifolia

native

woods

common

--

new to Cass County

Carex jamesii

native

along wooded streams

occasional

--

--

Carex lanuginosa

native

seep

infrequent

--

--

Carex lurida

native

intermittent streams

OCCASIONAL

--

--

Carex meadii

native

hill prairies

OCCASIONAL

--

--

Carex molesta

native

roadsides and wet areas

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Carex muhlenbergii

native

old fields

infrequent

--

--

Carex normalis

native

hill prairies

common

--

--

Carex oligocarpa

native

mesic wooded slopes

OCCASIONAL

--

new to Cass County

Carex pensylvanicavar.pensylvanica

native

open woods

infrequent, saw only one site

--

--

Carex radiata

native

woods

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Carex richardsonii

native

hill prairies

rare

--

--

Carex rosea

native

woods

occasional

--

--

Carex shortiana

native

seep

infrequent

--

--

Carex sparganioides

native

woods

occasional

--

--

Carex stipata

native

along streams & hay field

occasional

--

--

Carex tenera

native

floodplains

OCCASIONAL

--

--

Carex umbellata

native

hill prairies

occasional

--

--

Carex vulpinoidea

native

open wet area

occasional

--

--

Carya cordiformis

native

woods

common

--

--

Carya illinoensis

native

edge of woods

2 trees seen

--

--

Carya ovata var.ovata

native

upland woods

infrequent

--

--

Carya tomentosa

native

upland woods

infrequent

--

--

Cassia fasciculata

native

old fields, roadsides

occasional

--

--

Cassia (Senna) hebecarpa

native

old field

only seen once

--

new to Cass County

Castilleja coccinea

native

hill prairies, seep

infrequent, seen in 2 areas

--

--

Catalpa bignonioides

introduced

old fields

infrequent

--

new to Cass County

Celastrus scandens

native

edges of woods & bases of hill prairies

common

--

--

Celtis occidentalis var.occidentalis

native

ridge tops

infequent

--

--

Cerastium nutans var.nutans

native

disturbed areas

occasional

--

--

Ceratophyllum demersum

native

pond

only seen once

--

--

Cercis canadensis

native

woods

common

--

--

Chaerophyllum procumbens

native

low woods & along streams

occasional

--

--

Chamaesyce maculata (C. nutans)

native

roadsides & hill prairies

occasional

--

--

Chenopodium ambrosioidesvar.ambrosoides

introduced

creek bank

occasional

--

--

Chenopodium berlandieri var.zschackei

native

open intermittent stream between cropfields

occasonal

--

new to Cass County

Chenopodium gigantospermum

native

disturbed woods, along dirt road

infrequent

--

--

Cichorium intybus

introduced

roadsides

common

--

--

Cinna arundinacea

native

floodplains, creek bottoms

common

--

--

Circaea lutetianassp. canadensis

native

woods

common

--

--

Cirsium discolor

native

pastures

common

--

--

Cirsium hillii (C. pumilum)

native

hill prairies & former pastures

common, see special summary of this species

threatened

--

Cirsium vulgare

introduced

waste area

infrequent

--

--

Claytonia virginica

native

woods

common

--

--

Clematis virginiana

native

floodplain

infrequent

--

--

Commandra umbellata

native

hill prairies

common

--

--

Commelina communis

introduced

disturbed areas

occasional

--

--

Conium maculatum

introduced

along streams

occasional

--

--

Convolulus arvensis

introduced

roadsides

infrequent

--

--

Conyza canadensis

native

pastures & edges of crop fields

common

--

--

Coreopsis palmata

native

hill prairies

infrequent

--

--

Coreopsis tripteris

native

hill prairies

infrequent

--

--

Cornus drummondii

native

hill prairies, woods, edges of streams & ponds

abundant

--

--

Coronilla varia

introduced

pastures

infrequent

--

--

Corylus americana

native

pastures, woods

occasional

--

--

Crataegus crus-galli

native

old pastures, edges of hill prairies

common

--

--

Crataegus mollis

native

old pastures, edges of hill prairies

common

--

--

Croton glandulosus var.septentrionalis

native

hill prairies & bare areas in pastures

occasional

--

--

Croton monanthogynus

native

hill prairies & bare areas in pastures

occasional

--

--

Cryptotaenia canadensis

native

low woods & ravines

common

--

--

Cuphea viscosissima

native

moist ravine bottoms

infrequent

--

--

Cuscuta compacta

native

floodplain

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Cynanthum leave

native

crop fields

occasional

--

--

Cyperus ferruginescens

native

edge of pond

occasional

--

--

Cyperus lupulinus (C. filiculmis var.micilentus)

native

pastures & hay fields

occasional

--

--

Cyperus strigosus

native

roadside ditch

occasional

--

--

Cystopteris protrusa

native

woods

common

--

--

Dactylis glomerata

introduced

pastures & hay fields

common

--

--

Dalea candida

native

hill prairies

only seen on 1 hill prairie

--

--

Dalea purpurea

native

hill prairies

common on hill prairies

--

--

Datura stramonium

introduced

disturbed areas

infrequent

--

--

Daucus carota

introduced

roadsides, hay fields, pastures

abundant

--

--

Delphinium tricorne

native

woods

only seen once

--

--

Dentaria laciniata

native

woods

common

--

--

Descurainia pinnata ssp. brachycarpa

native

roadsides

occasional

--

--

Desmanthus illinoensis

native

pastured hill prairies

common

--

--

Desmodium canescens

native

bottomland degraded woods

infrequent

--

--

Desmodium cuspidatum var. longifolium

native

hill prairie

occasional

--

--

Desmodium glabellum

native

hill prairie

occasional

--

new to Cass County

Desmodium glutinosum

native

dry woods

common

--

--

Desmodium illinoense

native

hill prairies & pastures

occasional

--

--

Desmodium sessilifolium

native

hill prairies

occasional

--

--

Dianthus armeria

introduced

hill prairies, pastures, old fields

occasional

--

--

Dicentra cucullaria

native

mesic woods

occasional

--

--

Digitaria ischaemum

introduced

fields

occasional

--

--

Digitaria sanguinalis

introduced

fields, disturbed areas

common

--

--

Diodia teres

native

bare areas in pastures

occasional

--

--

Dioscorea villosa

native

upland woods

occasional

--

--

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Go to Q - Z



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