Saturday, May 22, 2010

Prairie Time!

Today I saw the first of my prairie plants starting to bloom. That got me thinking I should really use the photos of plants I haven't really highlighted yet.

Tradescantia virginiana, aka Spiderwort (I think the species name is correct) has been blooming since the start of May.

The plant itself is onion like in appearance with clusters of flowers coming up in much the same way. Some plants I've noticed only bloom in the early morning and close up for the afternoon. A meadow with this plant can change color in a matter of hours as all the flowers close up and their showy violets, blues, and purples disappear until tomorrow. Though pretty to look at I understand they can be hard to get rid of.

(Ignoring the ant) Golden Alexander, Zizia aurea is a more showy and flower-full cousin in the Carrot Family. Normally people plant parsley or carrots when turning to this family because they're useful plants. Golden Alexander is strictly an ornamental. Anything in the carrot family though doubles as a host plant for the Black Swallowtail.

I'm sure there are lots of prairie plants that bloomed way earlier in the year. I probably don't have them though. Actually right now there hasn't been much flowering. In the early spring most of the woodland wildflowers bloom and almost nothing that grows in the full sun prairie areas.