8422 N County Rd 1820E, Charleston, IL 61920
Hours of Operation:
Paths and grounds are open 365 days of the year,
sunrise to sunset
Welcome Center Hours:
March 1 - October 1
Monday - Saturday 9am-3pm
Closed on Sunday
By appointment only.
Admission is free, but donations are appreciated
The Whiteside Garden is the former residence of 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 five acres of his yard and farmland on the east side of Charleston into the botanical oasis we know it as today. The Whiteside Garden officially opened in 2021 and is open to the public.
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. The time to view these cultivars is August & September, but some bloom through October!