Western Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas

35 posts / 0 new
Last post
RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

In Clinton Prairie, the Wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum) does well.  The flowers are huge in comparison to the leaf area.  Leaves are  two inches long and cloth only the uppermost one-third of the stem.  There are not even any vestigial nodes on the bottom two-thirds that are typical of most other Lilium species of similar habit.  Lilium philadelphicum that I see on rock outcrops in the boreal parts of northern Minnesota bare leaves almost to the base of the plant.

 All the dead "sticks" in these photos, even in the distance, is the invasive sweetclover.
       
             

         

         

         

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Continuing in Clinton Prairie,
Whorled loostrife (Lysimachia quadriflora) just opening, and not yet assuming its characteristic nodding position.  Rich prairie soil, freshly dug by a gopher.
         

Showy Blue lettuce (Mulgedium(Lactuca) pulchellum)
   

Silverleaf scurfpea (Pediomelum(Psoralea) argophyllum).  Like artemesias with leaves covered with a whitish tomentum, these scurfpeas are heavily clothed with very reflective whitish hairs.
         
             

White meadowsweet (Spiraea alba) and what appears to be a hybrid of native Rosa spp. that are supposedly common in the area.
       

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Last pics for Clinton Prairie:
Marsh Hedge nettle(Stachys palustris)
             
         

Teucrium canadensis?
       

Mountain Death camas(Zigadenus elegans) just ending.  Impossible to find if it were not flowering, but the seed pods are quite distinctive.
       

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Rick, I would grow a whole prairie if I had room for it! However with limited space I have to be satisfied with some nice species.
I grow the Canada Anemone and it spreads slowly with my permission  ;D

The sweetclover is a weed here to but only in warm areas with deep soil.
Interesting stuff you tell us.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

More pics from wild western Minnesota in other areas near the South Dakota border:

Missouri milkvetch (Astragalus missouriensis)
       

Missouri milkvetch habitat: the south, east and north sides of the topmost knolls, 1-5ft. below the summits in gravel substrate.
             

Prairie larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum), and its seed pods.  Not exactly a well formed inflorescence, but the hodgepodge of flowers is fairly normal for the species here.
       

Pale coneflower (Echinacea pallida)
       

Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparius). We had practically no snow last winter.  What you see is last season's seed heads.  Second pic, Little bluestem and Prairie fleabane.
         

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I really enjoyed the prairie tour, Rick!  Thanks for taking us along!  How tall does Amorpha canescens typically get?  I grew a bunch from seed this year, and this time, they are still surviving... (and if they are successful, I'll have to weed many out.)  Stachys palustris is very showy, and I like the Teucrium also.   Gorgeous lily photos!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Nice stuff, Rick!
Lots of familiar species as well as many that don't make it this far north or into the mixed woods zone..
Sweet clover is common here too, though mostly restricted to roadsides, so it doesn't have a major impact on native species; the true clovers are much more bothersome..
The Stachys is a fave here, along with both Anemones; lots of cylindrica wild in my yard, and I'm encouraging some big patches- I've realised its lack of showy flowers is more than made up for with the seedheads giving nice interest/texture all winter; Stachys and A canadensis I plan to introduce to my yard in places where they can go to town, the Stachys I think is just as aggressive as the Anemone..

Love some of the real prairie plants that I mostly don't have- Psoralea, Amorpha, etc..
I'm sure you are right that people aren't clearly envisioning true prairie when they think of 'wild' gardens, and most wild plants have a much shorter season than garden forms- for a small city lot you would need to carefully think out your sequence of blooming etc, or you could have an empty lot look much of the year.. here, I have enough space (and selective vision) that I just don't look at those areas that are past their prime (before is less of an issue)..
However, the time I find native plants at their best (compared to exotics) is the late late season- very few flowers of course, because they know what they are doing, but I find once frosts have begun, native plants age into winter much more gracefully than exotic garden plants which may be flowering incongruously amid the ruin or just be a prematurely blackened mess, or halfway between those! while the natives are gone to golds and browns and seedpods!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Lori wrote:

How tall does Amorpha canescens typically get?

They usually seem to stay around 2.5ft.  I've grown Amorpha canescens from seed too, but I don't have any in my garden.  Now that I think about it, could it be grazing that keeps them short?  Never really thought about it before... and never investigated the plants to see if they had ever been "pruned".  I would have noticed the uncharacteristic growth pattern if they were grazed to a foot or so, but if they were eaten to the ground, I would never know.  Amorpha might be tasty to deer and moose...  Clinton Prairie is surrounded by miles of farmland, and it is conceivable that grazing animals do not venture there.  The tall Leadplants were only in one small part of the 160 acres, and shorter specimens of the species were scattered everywhere.  The prairie is managed with fire as part of the regime.  Perhaps they have not set fire to that one small part?

cohan wrote:

native plants age into winter much more gracefully than exotic garden plants...

i couldn't agree with you more!  And I thought I was the only seed pod freak (I mean enthusiast) here... ;D

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Last bunch of photos:

More Prairie fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)
       

Long-headed coneflower (Ratibida columnifera)
       

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) and an excellent specimen of Wooly plantain (Plantago patagonica).  It seemed to like the relative lack of competition.  Now that you know what you are looking for, Trond, you can pick out a few leaves from this previous photo, too: http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=299.0;attach=34838;...
   

In some gneiss outcrops:

Prairie fameflower (Phemeranthus parviflora) and Long-leaf bluet (Houstonia longifolia)
       

Ball cactus (Escobaria vivipara) and Fragile cactus (Opuntia fragilis)
       

And the last 2 posts I uploaded 9 and 10 photos all at once, and it worked great! I think our behind the scenes IT experts are hard at work... still!  (We can't thank you all enough!)

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

RickR wrote:

cohan wrote:

native plants age into winter much more gracefully than exotic garden plants...

i couldn't agree with you more!  And I thought I was the only seed pod freak (I mean enthusiast) here... ;D

Of course not all plants are as interesting at every stage, but I like every stage from emerging leaf buds to flower buds to full growth to fresh seed, ripe seed, dry seed, dying/fall leaf colour, to dried stems and overwintering seedheads, empty or otherwise, etc... of course the growing season is so short, that for months there is nothing to look at but  dried stems...lol... But even in Toronto, I would be so fond of photographing bare tree limbs over winter that I was almost sad to see them leaf out in spring..

Love the Plantago! Phemeranthus is cute too..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Pages

Log in or register to post comments