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!

This entry was posted in Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , , , , , , by Chris Helzer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.

6 thoughts on “Photo of the Week – November 7, 2013

  1. 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.

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

  2. 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.



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