Sunday, October 31, 2010


Indiangrass (Sorghastrum natans)
What a majestic beautiful plant Indiangrass Sorghastrum natans is. Or perhaps it just seems so because it is the last plant of the tall grass prairie plants to bloom and therefore just looks better than its neighbors. It is now a glowing golden color and will remain so throughout the winter. It is the tallest of the grasses in our prairie, reaching well over six feet tall. Indiangrass is often a co-dominant species with big bluestem, and usually sparser. In our prairie these two grasses are in separate areas so it will be interesting to see how they do develop together. Curently there is a very healthy stand of Indiangrass.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rose Hips

Rose hips of Carolina rose (Rosa carolina)
Rosa carolina produces  beautiful rose hips every year if you leave the pink flowering  roses on the plant.  These rose hips are actually a structure called achenes, an urn shaped receptacle that contains the fruits of the plant.   Rose hips are sought after by deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds all winter long.  Rose hips are very high in Vitamin C and can be used in Jellies, jams, and to make tea.  The best time to harvest the hips are after the first frost but leave plenty for the wildlife.