Hoary Puccoon is the first showy species to flower and at its peak will shower the prairie with orange.
Once they become established, they will form a multi-stemmed clump.
Juniper Sedge, Carex juniperorum, is a low growing, grass-like plant that looks as if it’s been ground beneath someone’s boot heel. The thin leaves radiate out from a central core in an almost horizontal manner. It’s nothing to get excited about unless you know the story of its rarity and how it managed to remain unnoticed by professional botanists for decades before being recognized as a new species just 25 years ago.
The only reason I don’t add it now is the fact that I’m not certain of the identification. I originally saw it late last year and thought it might be Senecio plattensis, but the plants were too far gone to be certain. However, when I run this plant through the keys it quickly falls out as Senecio pauperculus, listed as a Threatened species in
Until then, all I can say is that I have a field full of some lovely little Senecio plants.
The ripe berries are a favorite of the Eastern Box Turtles.
They tower above the emerging prairie grasses.
Even though it is also a diminutive plant, it is generally easier to see than its companion spring bloomers.
Short cedars and pines are common nest sites for these birds. By the time these warblers end their singing, the prairie will be brightening with the early summer prairie flowers.