• Inside the Lincoln Sitting Room

    Lincoln Home

    National Historic Site Illinois


Nature and Science



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.

Did You Know?

Photo of President Lincoln with beard

In 1860, eleven-year-old Grace Bedell wrote to Lincoln suggesting he grow a beard to “look a great deal better.” Lincoln met Bedell on his way to Washington, giving her a hearty kiss to thank her for her idea. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois