Don’t Be Shallow, Vote for Mallow!

Don't be shallow, vote for mallow!

The current state flower of Illinois is the violet, which is fine, if you’re dead on the inside. But what if our state flower was something more exciting? Something with stakes? What if we had a flower that celebrated our unique and threatened ecosystems?

Habitat 2030 member Robbie Telfer believes that the Kankakee mallow (Iliamna remota) should be our new state flower and he’s started the campaign to make it so. There are myriad reasons why the mallow is the ideal candidate, not least of which because it’s our state’s only surviving endemic flower species.

Launched in February 2015 on WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift, the campaign has already seen additional media coverage and support from ecological experts and lay people alike. And besides, it’s a real looker!

If you’re interested in helping restore the mallow’s habitat on Langham Island, consider becoming its Friend.


A Chicago poet’s campaign to change the state flower (WBEZ, February 2015)
Changing a State’s Flower (In Defense of Plants, March 2015)
Flower for the People (Chicago Magazine, May 2015)
Robbie Q. Telfer Interviews the Violet (Illinois Audubon Magazine, July 2015)
‘Time for a Flower Change’ says Cook County Activist (Sustain DuPage, July 2015)
Kankakee Mallow Lazarus (Habitat 2030 Blog, August 2015)
The Kankakee Mallow, a Wildflower Thought Extinct in State, Is Found Again (DNAinfo, August 2015)
Robb Telfer interviewed about the mallow on “After Hours with Rick Kogan” (WGN Radio, September 2015)
Born from the Ashes (Field Museum Science Newsflash Blog, September 2015)
Cultivating a Case for the Kankakee Mallow (Chicago Tribune, October 2015)

Don’t Be Shallow, Vote For Mallow!

Photos of Kankakee Mallow by Christopher David Benda

Photos of Kankakee Mallow by Christopher David Benda