The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Native and non-native species in your backyard

Lake County is home to scores of forest and nature preserves filled with bustling habitats of plants and animals. Within these ecosystems reside life forms native to the area, ones that naturally occur without human influence, and non-native species, ones that exist in the area due to human intervention. 

While native plants thrive in the conditions of their natural habitat, many non-native or invasive species pose threats to these habitats, competing with native plants for resources. This guide reveals both the beauty of the nature surrounding our homes while also discussing the qualities of these life forms and relationships they have with their surroundings. 

(Note: In addition to the sources listed individually on each page, information was also gathered from the Lake County Forest Preserves.)

Redbud – Cercis canadensis – native
Wild Geranium – Geranium maculatum – native
Quaking Aspen – Populus tremuloides – native
Woodland Phlox – Phlox divaricata – native
Pennycress – Thlaspi arvense – non-native
Amur Honeysuckle – Lonicera maackii – non-native
Canada Goose – Branta canadensis – native
Common Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale – non-native
Broad-leaved Cattail – Typha latifolia – native
Blackhaw – Viburnum prunifolium – native
Bird’s Foot Trefoil – Lotus corniculatus – non-native
Autumn Olive – Elaeagnus umbellata – non-native

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