Plants of the prairie:
A living exhibit
Now open in the museum's backyard!
Do you ever wonder about the earliest foods grown by Native Americans? Are you curious how they grew these edible plants? Plants of the Prairie is an outdoor exhibit that highlights plant life native to western Illinois, especially those found in a prairie ecosystem. Come learn about the unusual fruit and vegetables -- like the pawpaw, ground cherry, and Jerusalem artichoke -- that were once commonly enjoyed by local tribes, such as the Havana Hopewell and Mississippian cultures. This exhibit also highlights the diversity and beauty found in the prairie environment as well as the importance of preserving this natural landscape and the wildlife that calls it home.