8422 N County Rd 1820e, Charleston, IL 61920
Hours of Operation:
March 1 - October 1
Sunrise to Sunset
Welcome Center Hours:
Monday - Saturday 9am-3pm
First Saturday of the month at 10am
Admission is free, but donations are appreciated
The Whiteside Garden was started in 1963 by the late Dr. Wesley Whiteside, a botany professor at Eastern Illinois University. Dr. Whiteside taught numerous subjects such as botany, local flora, plant taxonomy, plant morphology, and mycology. Over the years, Dr. Whiteside transformed a portion of his farmland on the east side of Charleston into the botanical oasis we know it as today.
The Whiteside Garden is a diverse botanical collection covering approximately five acres of land and containing thousands of species and different cultivars of plants. The garden features an extensive collection of daylilies, magnolias, and hostas, as well as many rare, threatened, or unique plants to this area that are rarely, if ever, found in nature or other Midwest botanical gardens. Dr. Whiteside was also known for his late-blooming daylily cultivars, which are available commercially.