Monday, May 30, 2011

Lynx Prairie

While at the Advanced Naturalist Workshop on Sedges, we visited Lynx Prairie. Here are some of the highlights from this beautiful place.

 Here is one of the field, dotted with pastel pink and white flowers with a smathering of scarlet, for good measure.

The pink and white flowers are that of Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadii. This is a flower one doesn't see often and certainly not that many at one time. It was breathtaking seeing all of them together in the large field.

The lovely red color is from this parasitic plant, Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea. It is a hemiparasite, meaning it can draw nutrients from other plants, but can make its own food since it has chlorophyll in its leaves. 

There was another area filled with Indian Paintbrush and the huge leaves of Prairie Dock, Silphium terebinthinaceum.

We found the rare plant Limestone Adder's Tongue fern, Ophioglossum engelmannii. It doesn't look like a typical fern, with only one thick leaf. After spores are produced, the leaf can quickly wither, so it can be difficult to find.
One of my favorites was growing in the middle of the path. I had to stop and take a couple photos. Yellow Star Grass is so cheery-looking, it always makes me smile. The scientific name is Hypoxis hirsuta. Hirsuta means "hairy" and, if it you look closely, you can see tiny hairs on the stems and edges of the petals.

If you have a chance, come this summer and check out Lynx Prairie. There should be many prairie species in bloom at that time and it should make for a great trip.


  1. You do have some fabulous photographs in this post.

  2. Thanks for the kind comment and feedback, Abe!

  3. trying to find a shade lawn substitute for souther kansas. any ideas? carex pensylvanica?

  4. Hmmm... Not sure Greggo. What kind of soil do you have out there?


  5. I just visited Lynx Prairie for the first time last week.
    Change happens so quickly--it was not at all like this on my visit. I'm glad to know what the odd seed heads were--shooting stars!
    Prairie warblers and blue-winged warblers were singing. A fence lizard darted behind an odd rock. And it looks like heart-shaped Alexanders will soon be blooming there?
    I will have to be sure to time it better next year!
    (but I did find a really cool sedge!)