The wildflowers that reigned majestic on the tallgrass prairie of pre-settlement days are not a part of Lincoln Home National Historic Site today. During Mr. Lincoln’s residency, from 1844 – 1861, local nurseries sold many varieties of nonnative flowering plants. Mary Lincoln planted roses in her yard. Other common plantings included peonies, heliotropes, flowering quince, and lilacs. These nonnative species replaced the pre-settlement wildflowers that graced the prairie in earlier years. The coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata
) and black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta
) planted around the parking lot and Visitor Center are reminiscent of the wildflowers that were once a part of the central Illinois landscape.