Photo of the Week – November 7, 2013

Forests are not the only habitats that have beautiful leaves in autumn.  Here are two photos of a common prairie plant, wild bergamot (aka beebalm or Monarda fistulosa).  Both photos were taken yesterday in a small restored prairie.

Restored Prairie at The Leadership Center in Aurora, Nebraska.

Colorful leaves of wild bergamot in a restored prairie at The Leadership Center in Aurora, Nebraska.


More leaves, different plant, same prairie.

More leaves, different plant, same prairie.

As is usually the case, you have to look a little closer to see the beauty in a prairie as compared to forests or other “show off” habitat types.  It’s not a lot of work, though, and is usually worth the effort!

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.
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6 Responses to Photo of the Week – November 7, 2013

  1. Mike Suiter says:

    Great pics! I have some wild bergamot that is dark purple and hopefully light winds will let me get some pics of it this weekend.

  2. Your photographs are stunning. Other prairie plants with colorful fall foliage in my prairie gardens: Smooth Blue Aster and Foxglove Beard Tongue, green with red and maroon overtones; Showy Goldenrod, Tall Coreopsis, and Prairie Alum Root, wine; Potentilla simplex, wine and scarlet; Euphorbia corollata, scarlet.

    • Patrick says:

      I’ll second the beardtongue and add that my Culvers root was a particularly stunning shade of yellow with black seed heads this year.

  3. Sue Coder Kagarise says:

    Beautiful plants and pics!

  4. James McGee says:

    Hi Chris, I do not recall noticing the purple glands and veins of wild bergamont in the fall. Have you ever seen a “frost flower?” I wish tall grass prairie plants made these interesting phenomena. I have never seen one in a prairie.


  5. lancemfoster says:

    Chris, next time you come to Rulo Bluffs, let me know. I’d like to show you a patch of prairie on our lands.


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