Plant Profiles

Heirloom plant profiles. Categories include edible, fiber, medicinal and ornamental.

The ‘Bradford Family’ Watermelon

By Chris Smith

In South Carolina, the Bradford family strengthens its Southern roots by saving one of the world’s best tasting heirloom watermelons from extinction.


Mistletoe in Illinois

By Robert H. Mohlenbrock

Find out more about the origins and habitats of the mistletoe plant.


Morphology of Grasses in Illinois

By Robert H. Mohlenbrock

Discover the anatomy of the grasses of Illinois and the characteristics the grasses share with other plants.


Four O’Clock Flower Family in Illinois

By Robert H. Mohlenbrock

Learn more about the flowers locations, habitats, growing tendencies and the other states this flower may be habitable in, you may have some growing near you.


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Fern Habitats in Illinois

By Robert H. Mohlenbrock

Learn more about the fern species, begin to identify the different types of soils and landscapes where ferns seem to thrive and why. Limestone outcroppings are popular among the ferns in Illinois because they tend to be close to the waters-edge and ferns love the moisture-rich soil by the cliffs.


Picking Heirloom Tomato Varieties to Rescue

By Laura Flacks-Narrol

When you pick a rare tomato to help save you must make sure it works well for you garden, producing a large yield and yummy fruit.


Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis)

By Joanna Ridenour

The fascinating history of this plant goes back to Biblical times!


Family Heirloom: Golden Currant, Weeping Fig, ‘Cherokee’ Purple Tomato, and More

By Heirloom Gardener readers

Readers share stories of treasured family plants.



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