Category Archives: Prairie Plants

Photo of the Week – June 23, 2017

This is a good year for sensitive briar (Mimosa quadrivalvus) in the Platte River Prairies.  Sensitive briar is a spiny perennial legume that sprawls across the ground in dry prairies and has leaves that fold up when touched or blown … Continue reading

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Exotic Beauty

Early in my career, I felt pretty strongly that only native plants should be in the prairies I managed.  Pretty quickly, I realized I didn’t have enough time to eradicate the worst invasive plants from our sites, let alone worry … Continue reading

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Surprising Little Gems

Last week, I had a couple hours to do some reconnaissance at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.  I wanted to see how far along the flowering plant season was in preparation for some data collection efforts we hope to start soon. … Continue reading

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Vacation at Toadstool Geologic Park

One of the best tourist stops in Nebraska gets very few visitors (which doesn’t hurt its value as a site I like to visit).  Toadstool Geologic Park is in the northern panhandle of Nebraska, north of the town of Crawford. … Continue reading

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The Joy, Angst, Excitement and Dread of Walking Through a Young Restored Prairie

Anyone who has watched a prairie seeding go through its first several years of establishment will appreciate and identify with this post.  For those of you who haven’t, the best analogy I can come up with is that the experience … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – May 12, 2017

When you look closely at Penstemon angustifolius, it’s easy to see why one of its common names is narrowleaf beardtongue. Narrowleaf beardtongue is a widespread Great Plains wildflower that can have blue, lavender, or pink flowers – often, all on … Continue reading

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How Small Is Too Small?

What’s the minimum effective size of a prairie? For example, can a prairie be the size of a kitchen table?  Let’s say someone converted a landscape full of prairie to an immense gravel parking lot, leaving only a round kitchen … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Photo of the Week – April 20, 2017

I’ve been enjoying the early flush of wildflowers this spring, and have been trying to photograph them when I get time.  Because I already have quite a few close-up portraits of most of these species already, I’ve been trying to … Continue reading

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Photo of the Week – April 13, 2017

Prairie dandelion, aka prairie false dandelion (Nothocalais cuspidata) is different from common dandelion (Taraxacum officianale), the one most people are familiar with in yards and weedy places.  Prairie dandelion is a native perennial wildflower, mainly restricted to dry unplowed prairies, … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Spring Obsession

Man, I sure do love Carolina anemone (Anemone carolinianum).  It’s such a beautiful plant in such a compact package.  We have a few plants blooming in our prairie garden at home, but last weekend, I went looking for more of them … Continue reading

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