Black eyed Susans, aka Rudbeckia , indicates that summer is well under way in the U.S. heartland, the prairie. Illinois is the “prairie state” yet less than 10% of virgin prairie lands remain. This piece of prairie is part of a restoration project, West Ridge Nature Preserve on Chicago’s north-east side. In Chicago one does not have to travel far to pretend they are a part of a time long ago; the stuff of good summertime daydreams.
Now, back to nature. Here’s a couple of images of the “lions” that roam freely (and aggressively) in our lawns. The Dandelion (Taraxacum), as a flower, is pretty; take a close look.
Bog Cotton (Eriophorum angustifolium) is the chosen nickname of this attention-grabbing seedhead found at the Volo Bog, north of Chicago. It’s more common name is Common Cottongrass or Common Cottonsedge. So I suppose, even though grasses, sedges and rushes are each unique in character, the “naming” rights are a matter of personal experience with the plant.
Today I share words from another WordPress sight I pleasantly discovered that succinctly states the differences between the three common marsh plant types. The following descriptor refers to the stem qualities:
- “Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses have nodes where leaves are found.”
The prairie is a favorite hangout for me. Grasses are the dominant species of the Midwest prairie. Blue skies and accompanying white fluffy Cumulus clouds are prime background to show off the vastness of the prairie. A prairie in the midst of suburban Chicago offers a treasured environs of solace. Maidengrass (Miscanthus sinensis) is not to found however, in a native prairie. This Eurasian import is a perennial in this climate, and it found only in human-created landscapes.
This patch of Maidengrass occupies only about nine square feet at the parking lot curb entrance to my doctor’s office. This morning they caught my attention because of their gentle swaying against the bright autumn sky. It was a tiny piece of non-native wilds that brightened my morning.