A Travel Week Plant Quiz

I’m writing this from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where I am preparing to speak at and attend the 2015 Native Prairie Restoration and Reclamation Workshop hosted by Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan.  It’s my first trip to Saskatchewan, and I’m excited to meet a lot of new people and learn about a prairie landscape I’m not very familiar with.

The view from my airplane window as we approached Saskatoon from the west today.  A beautiful landscape with lots of wetlands scattered across it.
The view from my airplane window as we approached Saskatoon from the west today. It’s a beautiful landscape with lots of wetlands scattered across it.

Because of my travel schedule this week, I didn’t have time to write a pithy or entertaining blog post.  Instead, I’m just posting a photo of a prairie wildflower that is common in the sandhills of Nebraska (and other sandy habitats in central North America – including Saskatchewan) to see if you can identify it.  Since I know some of you will get it pretty easily, I’ll put the name of the plant in the comments section below and you can check your answer against it.

Can you name this wildflower?  The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.
Can you name this wildflower? The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies, Nebraska.

Finally, to compensate you for such a short (and odd) blog post, here is a link to one of my favorite posts from way back in January 2011.  Many of you were not following the blog back then, and I think it’s a story worth reading.  I hope you enjoy it.

13 thoughts on “A Travel Week Plant Quiz

  1. Chris Helzer January 28, 2015 / 5:58 am

    The plant is silky prairie clover. Dalea villosa.

    • Jon White January 31, 2015 / 3:43 pm

      My first guess was Amorpha canescens (one of my all-time favorites) – but now I see that the color of the inflorescence is a bit pinker and the leaves look a little more hairy. Have to admit, I was not familiar with this one!

  2. Karen Hamburger January 28, 2015 / 8:52 am

    One of my favorite plants and one that continues to stymie my efforts to grow.
    Have a good time in Canada.


    • Craig Hemsath January 29, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      Agreed. Love that plant. Have also had disappointing results trying to grow it (some plant ecologist I am)

  3. elfinelvin January 28, 2015 / 8:53 am

    I was not familiar with this one. It would look great in a prairie garden.

  4. centralohionature January 28, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    Beautiful wildflower and while this is not to say they don’t exist in Ohio it’s not one I’ve seen.

  5. anastaciast January 28, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    This is rare enough that I could not remember it’s name. Thanks for the photo and the i.d. Have a great trip! Maybe you will see some snow.

  6. Kim Shannon January 29, 2015 / 9:54 am

    It reminds me of a very dense Amorpha a bit.

  7. Tom D January 29, 2015 / 11:27 pm

    I had a great-uncle, born in Kentucky, that homesteaded near Saskatoon early in the 20th century.I think he was in his late teens. He lived in a sod house the first few years. Wound up with a big wheat farm and then bought the commercial bakery in town. The last time I saw uncle Ed, in his 80’s, he had a black eye patch, a wife at least 20 years younger, a Caddy, and he gave my girlfriend a pinch when I introduced them, The prairie life worked out pretty well for Uncle Ed.

  8. marilyn faulk lanser January 30, 2015 / 4:47 am

    This forb is beautiful, Chris! I can just imagine how colorful the prairie becomes during its blooming. Thanks for posting.

  9. Wes Pokorny January 30, 2015 / 5:46 am

    Is it prairie clover?

  10. Kerry Hecker January 30, 2015 / 1:47 pm

    Hi Chris,
    It was great to meet you in Saskatoon! Thanks for the note about the Native Prairie Restoration and Reclamation Workshop – we enjoyed your plenary and banquet presentations very much!
    This looks like a thriving and robust version of Hairy Prairie Clover – Dalea villosa (a Threatened species in Saskatchewan!). http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=533 Although “Silky” is a much nicer name. We’ve propagated it in our plant nursery with reasonable success – the seeds need to be gently scarified to weaken the seed coat (scratched with sandpaper until you see scratches, but don’t break the seed coat). In our nursery it lived for about 3-4 years (short-lived perennial) in our pure sand bed.

  11. Rita Jannusch McKenzie February 20, 2015 / 8:05 pm

    Beautiful prairie plant. I, too, live in Ohio and don’t see it here. I found your post while researching mob grazing and I wonder if you have any further thoughts since 2011.

    Thanks, Rita


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