Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

The Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois

Images of Prairie Plants — Genera Beginning with the Letter "P"


  • Panicum virgatum (switch grass) [Poaceae or Gramineae, Grass Family]


  • Parthenium integrifolium (wild quinine or American feverfew) [Asteraceae or Compositae, Sunflower Family]


  • Pastinaca sativa (wild parsnip) [Apiaceae or Umbelliferae, Carrot Family] — NOT native to Illinois


  • Pedicularis canadensis (Canada lousewort or wood betony) [Scrophulariaceae, Figwort Family]


  • Pedicularis lanceolata (swamp wood betony or swamp lousewort) [Scrophulariaceae, Figwort Family]


  • Penstemon digitalis (foxglove beardstongue) [Scrophulariaceae, Figwort Family]


  • Penstemon pallidus (pale beardstongue) [Scrophulariaceae, Figwort Family]


  • PetalostemumDalea (prairie clover)
    • Petalostemum candidum = Dalea candida
    • Petalostemum foliosum = Dalea foliosa
    • Petalostemum purpureum = Dalea purpurea


  • Phlox bifida (cleft or sand phlox) [Polemoniaceae, Phlox Family]


  • Phlox glaberrima var. interior (marsh or smooth phlox) [Polemoniaceae, Phlox Family]


  • Phlox pilosa (downy or prairie phlox) [Polemoniaceae, Phlox Family]


  • Phlox pilosa subspecies sangamonensis (Sangamon phlox) [Polemoniaceae, Phlox Family] — listed as ENDANGERED in Illinois
    • habitat; along Illinois Route 150 just west of Mahomet, Champaign County, Illinois
    • habit of plant in flower; floodplain of the Sangamon River, Piatt County, Illinois
    • inflorescence; same locality — in Sangamon phlox, the stems, leaves, and sepals are glabrous (lack hairs)
    • Click here for a distribution map in Illinois from the Illinois Plant Information Network


  • Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant or false dragonhead) [Lamiaceae or Labiatae, Mint Family]


  • Platanthera flava var. herbiola or Habenaria flava var. herbiola (tubercled or pale green orchid) [Orchidaceae, Orchid Family] — listed as THREATENED in Illinois


  • Platanthera leucophaea or Habenaria leucophaea (prairie white fringed orchid) [Orchidaceae, Orchid Family] — listed as ENDANGERED in Illinois and THREATENED in the United States


  • Poinsettia dentata or Euphorbia dentata (wild poinsettia or toothed spurge) Euphorbiaceae, Spruge Family]


  • Poinsettia cyathophora or Euphorbia heterophylla (wild poinsettia or Mexican fireplant) Euphorbiaceae, Spruge Family]


  • Polygala polygama (purple milkwort) [Polygonaceae, Milkwort Family]


  • Polygala sanguinea (field milkwort) [Polygonaceae, Milkwort Family]


  • Polygala verticillata (whorled milkwort) [Polygonaceae, Milkwort Family]


  • Potentilla anserina or Argentina anserina ( silverweed or silverweed cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family]
    — In Illinois, this species is usually found along sandy beaches near Lake Michigan


  • Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family] — NOT native to Illinois; in Illinois often found in disturbed sandy areas


  • Potentilla arguta (prairie or tall cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family]


  • Potentilla fruticosa or Dasiphora fruticosa(shrubby cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family] ? In Illinois, this species is found in calcareous habitats, which can be dry to wet


  • Potentilla palustis or Comarum palustre ( marsh cinquefoil or purple marshlocks) [Rosaceae, Rose Family] — not a prairie plant, but a fascinating cinquefoil with purple-brown flowers that in Illinois only occurs in bogs


  • Potentilla recta (sulphur cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family] — NOT native to Illinois, introduced from Europe


  • Potentilla simplex (common or old field cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family]


  • Potentilla tridentata or Sibbaldiopsis tridentata( three-toothed cinquefoil) [Rosaceae, Rose Family] — not a prairie plant and not found in the wild in Illinois since 1895, but common farther north and east


  • Prenanthes aspera (rough white lettuce or rough rattlesnakeroot) [Asteraceae / Compositae, Sunflower Family]


  • Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium or Gnaphalium (sweet everlasting or old-field balsam) [Asteraceae or Compositae, Sunflower Family]


  • Psoralea tenuiflorum or Psoralidium tenuiflorum (slimflower scurf-pea) [Fabaceae / Leguminosae, Legume Family]


  • Pulsatilla patens or Anemone patens (Pasque flower) [Ranunculaceae, Buttercup Family]



    Alphabetical by Genus: 
    A  B  C  D  E  F G  H  I  J  K  L M  N  O P  Q  R S  T  U V  W  X Y  Z 


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  • Created November 1997; updated 25 October 2004

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