Starved Rock Country

Sunflowers return to Matthiessen State Park

Annual spectacle draws a flock near Starved Rock

The sunflower field is in full bloom on Monday, July 1, 2024 at Matthiessen State Park. This year the field is located on the north side of the model airplane field. Park staff asks visitors to be respectful of the flowers and to not remove them. Removing flowers is subject to a $195 fine.

Calling all photographers and plant lovers: The towering sunflowers in a sprawling field at Matthiessen State Park have bloomed for the 2024 season.

There’s no question that this lush attraction, conveniently located just a short drive from the popular Starved Rock State Park and Interstate 80, has become an important annual event in the Starved Rock Country area. Visitors from across the state, including the Chicago, Peoria and Rockford areas, already have started flocking to the picturesque, 60-acre sunflower field.

The flowers bloom through July, and by August they seed, and wilt through early September, their lifespan attracting pollinators and providing shade for deer, opossums and raccoons.

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson

Over a decade of experience in photojournalism with over 15 years in the newspaper industry.