Vegetation of Wilmington Shrub Prairie Nature Preserve, Will County, Illinois.

John E. Ebinger, Loy Richard Phillippe, Paul B. Marcum

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Wilmington Shrub Prairie Nature Preserve is located in the southwestern corner of Will County about 4 km east of Braidwood in the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Extensive areas of the preserve have been degraded by past grazing, peat fires, and parts were probably cultivated before the land was purchased by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 1989. Small sections of the preserve still contain native vegetation of high natural quality. On both dry-mesic "black soil" prairies studied Helianthus mollis (downy sunflower), Parthenium integrifolium (America fever-few), and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) dominated (highest importance values). Overall, less than 25 species on each prairie had an I.V. greater than 2.5 with 61 species recorded in the plots of one prairie and 102 on the second. Spiraea tomentosa (hardhack), Rubus hispidus (swampy dewberry), and Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern) dominated the two shrub prairies surveyed with mosses the common ground cover. The sedge meadow was dominated by Carex haydenii/stricta, Onoclea sensibilis, Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint grass), and Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern). Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush) dominated the shrub swamp. Of the 358 vascular plant taxa found, 32 were exotics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1--16
JournalTransactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science
Issue number1/2
StatePublished - 2011


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