Plant Profiles

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

Practical and Decorative Uses for Air Plants

By David H. Benzing

Discover how this unique and beautiful group of plants can be used as more than a decoration.


For the Love of a Bulb

By Keenan Fletcher

The unique and intrinsic value in heirloom gardens cultivated from childhood, manifested into the love of heirloom bulbs.


Sesame Seeds

By Katherine K. Schlosser

Learn about the rich history of sesame and its continued culinary and medicinal uses.


Garden Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

By Joanna Ridenour

A delightful old-fashioned herb that is pretty enough for the flower garden!


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Crab Apples

By Sara Bir

Learn more about crab apple trees and how you can use their fruit.


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.



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