Pollinator Praire Update, August 15, 2021

On July 30th several board members walked the new prairie with Jens Jensen and three of his team members. Despite this summer's drought, eleven new species of prairie plants were identified, including Swamp Milkweed (with a Monarch caterpillar!), False Sunflower, Patridge Pea, Yellow Cornflower, Anise Hysope, and several others. With the more recent storms and rain, we will see the prairie seeds take off.

July 2021 Update

The prairie, planted in late June 2021, has lain dormant with the recent hot dry weather. With the rains of mid July, we will start seeing some green shoots over the next few weeks. Some of the seeds planted require a cold winter before they will sprout. The prairie look and color will evolve greatly over the first five years!

Seeds planted are listed below.


Scientific Name

Common Name

Bouteloua curtipendula

Sideoats Grama

Bromus kalmii

Arctic Brome

Carex bicknellii

Bicknell's Sedge

Carex brevior

Shortbeak Sedge

Carex vulpinoidea

Fox Sedge

Elymus canadensis

Canada Wild Rye

Elymus virginicus

Virginia Wild Rye

Juncus dudleyi

Dudley's Rush

Koeleria macrantha

Prairie Junegrass

Panicum virgatum


Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Bluestem

Sporobolus compositus

Rough Dropseed

Sporobolus heterolepis

Prairie Dropseed


Scientific Name

Common Name

Agastache foenicium

Anise Hyssop

Allium cernuum

Nodding Onion

Anemone cylindrica

Candle Anemone

Artemisia ludoviciana

White Sagebrush

Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Milkweed

Asclepias verticillata

Whorled Milkweed

Astragalus canadensis

Canada Milkvetch

Baptisia alba

White Wild Indigo

Brickellia (Kuhnia) eupatorioides

False Boneset

Castilleja coccinea

Indian Paintbrush

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Partridge Pea

Coreopsis lanceolata

Sand Coreopsis

Coreopsis palmata

Prairie Coreopsis

Dalea candida

White Prairie Clover

Dalea purpurea

Purple Prairie Clover

Dodecatheon meadia

Shooting Star

Echinacea pallida

Pale Purple Coneflower

Eryngium yuccifolium

Rattlesnake Master

Gentiana alba (flavida)

Pale Gentian

Gentiana puberulenta

Downy Gentian

Gentianella quinquefolia

Stiff Gentian

Geum triflorum

Prairie Smoke

Helianthus occidentalis

Western Sunflower

Heliopsis helianthoides


Lespedeza capitata

Round-headed Bush Clover

Liatris aspera

Tall Blazing Star

Liatris pycnostachya

Prairie Blazing Star

Monarda fistulosa

Wild Bergamot

Monarda punctata

Spotted Horsemint

Oligoneuron rigidum

Stiff Goldenrod

Parthenium integrifolium

Feverfew, Wild Quinine

Pedicularis canadensis

Canadian Lousewort

Penstemon digitalis

Foxglove Penstemon

Penstemon grandiflorus

Large-flowered Beardtongue

Penstemon hirsutus

Hairy Penstemon

Phlox pilosa

Prairie Phlox

Pycnanthemum virginianum

Common Mountain Mint

Ratibida pinnata

Gray-headed Coneflower

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susan

Ruellia humilis

Wild Petunia

Silene Regia

Royal Catchfly

Silphium laciniatum

Compass Plant

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

New England Aster

Symphyotrichum oolentangiense

Sky Blue Aster

Symphyotrichum sericeum

Silky Aster

Tradescantia ohiensis

Common Spiderwort

Verbena stricta

Hoary Vervain

Zizia aurea

Golden Alexander's

Amorpha canescens

Lead Plant

June 2021 Update

By Jens Jensen, Principal Ecologist, Jensen Ecology

The Yerkes Future Foundation has many acres of mowed turf grass on its historic landscape. Jensen Ecology is working with foundation on converting some of this mowed turf into natural areas. The first step of this is to create a 1.5 acre prairie in an area that was previously mowed turf grass. When incorporated into designed landscapes, natural areas such as prairies can be aesthetically pleasing, sustainable landscapes that add biodiversity, enhance wildlife habitat and provide erosion and runoff control to the site. Educating visitors to land management and biodiversity is also a goal of the project. If this small 1.5 acre prairie is successful the goal is to hopefully expand on it in the years to come to create a more sustainable, diverse landscape.

Jensen Ecology worked with the foundation to select an area to begin a prairie, designed a seed mix, prepared the site and installed the seed. Seeded prairies such as this take two to three years to fully establish but we would expect to see growth and possibly some flowering species in the first year. Stewardship of prairies requires periodic mowing and invasive species control to establish but become much more self-sufficient and lower maintenance in subsequent years and will eventually be managed partially by fire.