Journal of the Prairie Meadow – Part 2

Here’s the list of seeds that we’ll plant in the meadow this winter, with links to photos of the plants they’ll turn into. (I don’t have photos of all of them – I’ll add them as I get more.)

(It’s a long list – I’m trying for a very diverse prairie.  Diversity is good even in a small prairie.  Diverse plant communities are more stable, more able to resist invaders (weeds), and more attractive to wildlife.)

Forbs (flowers)

Agalinis tenuifolia – Slender Gerardia
Amorpha canescens – Lead Plant
Anemone cylindrica – Thimbleweed
Anemone virginiana – Tall Thimbleweed
Asclepias exaltata – Poke Milkweed
Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca
– Common Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa
– Butterfly Weed
Asclepias verticillata – Whorled Milkweed
Aster ericoides
– Heath Aster
Aster laevis – Smooth Blue Aster
Aster lateriflorus – Calico Aster
Aster novae-angliae – New England Aster
Aster oolentangiensis – Sky-blue Aster
Aster pilosus – Frost Aster
Aster sagittifolius – Arrow-leaved Aster
Aster umbellatus – Flat-topped Aster
Astragalus canadensis – Canada Milk-vetch
Baptisia bracteata – Cream Wild Indigo
Baptisia alba – White Wild Indigo
Bidens cernuus – Nodding Bur Marigold
Bidens coronata – Tall Swamp Marigold
Campanula americana – American Bellflower
Castilleja coccinea – Indian Paintbrush
Chamaecrista fasciculata – Partridge Pea
Chelone glabra – Turtlehead
Cirsium discolor – Field Thistle
Cirsium muticum – Swamp Thistle
Epilobium coloratum – Cinnamon Willow-herb
Eupatorium altissimum – Tall Boneset
Eupatorium maculatum – Joe Pye-weed
Eupatorium perfoliatum – Boneset
Eupatorium purpureum – Sweet Joe-Pye Weed
Euphorbia corollata – Flowering Spurge
Euthamia graminifolia – Grass-leaved Goldenrod
Galium boreale – Northern Bedstraw
Gentiana alba – White Gentian
Gentianella quinquefolia – Stiff Gentian
Gentianopsis crinita – Fringed Gentian
Geum aleppicum – Yellow Avens
Gnaphalium obtusifolium – Sweet Everlasting
Helenium autumnale – Sneezeweed
Heliopsis helianthoides – Oxeye
Hypericum pyramidatum – Giant St. John’s Wort
Iris versicolor – Wild Iris
Kuhnia eupatorioides – False Boneset
Lespedeza capitata – Round-headed Bush Clover
Liatris aspera – Rough Blazing Star
Liatris ligulistylis – Meadow Blazing Star
Lilium michiganense – Turks Cap Lily
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower
Lobelia siphilitica – Blue Lobelia
Lycopus americanus – Water Horehound
Lysimachia ciliata – Fringed Loosestrife
Monarda fistulosa – Monarda, Bee Balm
Oenothera biennis – Evening Primrose
Pedicularis lanceolata – Swamp Betony
Penstemon grandiflorus – Large-flowered Penstemon
Polygonatum biflorum – Solomon’s-seal
Ratibida pinnata – Yellow Coneflower
Rudbeckia hirta – Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia laciniata – Wild Golden Glow
Silphium perfoliatum – Cup Plant
Solidago flexicaulis – Zig-zag Goldenrod
Solidago juncea – Early Goldenrod
Solidago nemoralis – Gray Goldenrod
Solidago rigida – Stiff Goldenrod
Solidago speciosa – Showy Goldenrod
Thalictrum dasycarpum – Tall Meadow Rue
Tradescantia ohiensis – Spiderwort
Verbena hastata – Blue Vervain
Verbena stricta – Hoary Vervain
Vernonia fasciculata – Ironweed
Veronicastrum virginicum – Culver’s Root
Zizia aurea – Golden Alexander

Grasses & Sedges

Bromus ciliatus
Bromus kalmii
Cinna arundinacea – Sweet Wood-reed
Elymus canadensis – Canada Wild Rye
Elymus hystrix – Bottlebrush Grass
Elymus villosus – Silky Wild Rye
Sedges – mixed
Sorghastrum nutans – Indian Grass
Spartina pectinata – Cord Grass

Marcie  12/7/09

Here’s some information about how I’ve collected and processed the seeds we’ll be planting.

I collected seeds for the prairie during the summer and fall of 2009, from roadsides

wet cow pastures

and from the prairies on our land

The easiest way to collect the seeds is to cut the tops off the plants, when the seeds are mature, let the plant material dry, and then rub it across a coarse screen, to separate the seeds from the stems and leaves.

Here are some piles of plants drying.

This is where I process the seeds.  I rub the plants across the screen, and the seeds fall into the plastic bin.

After the seeds are cleaned, I store them in bags or cans until it’s time to plant.

Some parts of our meadow are sunny and fairly dry, some are very wet and some are very shady.  I’ve divided up the seeds into 3 containers, so that we can plant them in the places where they’ll grow best.

Marcie O’Connor
12/28/2009