There is an unmistakable look to late summer prairies, and that look is YELLOW. Sunflowers, goldenrods, and Silphiums (compass plant, cup plant, rosinweed) are all front and center this time of year. The visual dominance of yellow flowers is obvious as I look back through some of my favorite prairie photos from this week.
I wonder if anyone has gone through all the prairie flower species to see which color is most common (I’ll be someone has). It has to be yellow, doesn’t it? Purple, pink, and white are in the running, but I bet yellow wins pretty easily.
Wildflower viewing this time of year, at least in the prairies I know best, is more like an Easter egg hunt than a fireworks show. Spring wildflowers tend to bloom within just a few inches of the ground, nestled among the early growth of grasses and wildflowers that will literally overshadow them within just a few weeks. Their short stature, small blooms, and (usually) solitary nature don’t detract from their beauty, however, and each “egg” is well worth the hunt. Earlier this week, I enjoyed a pleasant hour or so finding these colorful little surprises at our family prairie.