fbpx Rare Habitats Tour: Northern Flatwoods | The Morton Arboretum

Rare Habitats Tour: Northern Flatwoods

Schedule and Location

Sunday, August 11, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Fees and Registration

$65.00 member
$76.00 nonmember
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)


Course Description

Join botanist Chris Benda for a guided tour of Northern Flatwoods in northeastern Illinois.

Flatwoods are rare plant community types in Illinois and they are woodlands with a shallow layer of sand or loamy soil over a layer of clay called a fragipan. The impermeable clay layer causes the ground to be seasonally wet.  As the name implies, these areas are flat with poor drainage and ephemeral ponds are common, sometimes called upland morainal depressions.  Only plants adapted to seasonally wet conditions thrive in this community, such as swamp white oak, black ash, winterberry, cardinal flower, marsh speedwell, and various grasses and sedges. 

This tour will visit several high-quality examples of Flatwoods communities, located in dedicated Illinois nature preserves in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Course number



Christopher Benda, botanist

Chris Benda, aka Illinois Botanizer, is a botanist and past president of the Illinois Native Plant Society. He teaches at Southern Illinois University and The Morton Arboretum. He is an accomplished photographer and author of several publications about natural areas in Illinois. Find him at www.illinoisbotanizer.com.

Course Details

Notes: Held offsite and outdoors. Bring a sack lunch. Driving directions will be provided. Limit 18

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