Growth on the prairies is mimicking that of the
That’s encouraging, since that’s how I had hoped my artificial creation
would act. However, the actual growth is
less than encouraging. This area of
short grass is typically dotted with bright color at this time in the
season. The color this year is almost
entirely pale green. Prairie Garden
Some plants are actually doing well despite the odd weather. Little Ladies’ Tresses, Spiranthes tuberosa, is looking very well. Its full height of about six inches is just not enough to make it very noticeable.
Petals of the Spiranthes flower never look quite real. I always imagine them as being made of ice crystals or clear plastic.
Whorled Rosinweed blooms are a bright yellow that should be visible from a considerable distance.
Unfortunately, instead of their normal five foot height, the plants are averaging closer to 18 inches. The plants are also producing just a single bloom instead of the usual half dozen. The flowers are well hidden by the grass.
Flowering Spurge is similarly diminished this year. The plants normally top out around three feet tall. These are lucky to reach a foot.
Bluehearts have remained relatively unaffected. Height is slightly reduced, but the flower spike is just as full as ever. Their blooms are too small to be easily seen at a distance, so they don’t do much to brighten the landscape.
As with those in the
the Prairie Garden Round-podded St.
Johnswort is producing a new set of blooms.
The recent rains must have really invigorated this species.
Rose Pink continues to bloom. This species has been blooming for the last couple of months and shows no signs of slowing. Some of the early bloomers are already drying down and releasing seed.
Partridge Pea is blooming at a normal rate. This species has the potential to form tall plants with many flowers, but Blue Jay Barrens specimens are always small and only produce one or two flowers. I may collect a few seeds from this annual plant and see how large the plants get when given good soil and plenty of water.
Hairy Small-leaved Tick Trefoil always does well and this year is no exception. The flowers are not large enough to make a showy display, but there will be enough sticky seed pods this fall to cover a person’s pants legs as they walk through the field.
Another specimen of the same Trefoil species appears to have grown with its flower stalks fused. There are always oddities of some sort showing up in the fields. I would prefer to find oddities that turned out to be species I have not yet encountered. It’s getting to be too late in the season for the prairies to suddenly burst with color. Next year has got to bring a better display.