The Waterman and Hill-Traveller's Companion, a Natural Events Almanac
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Prarie

Prairies first appeared at the end of the Cretaceous just before the dinosaurs disappeared and are the most recent ecological community to appear on our planet. Prairies are plant communities dominated by the grasses. And just as there are different forest communities there are also different kinds of prairie as well.

In our area the largest and most important of these Prairie Divisions is the Grand, or Tall Grass, Prairie. These are climate dependent grasslands that are dominated by Big Bluestem a species whose flowering heads appear in late summer and can reach fifteen feet or more in height. While Big Bluestem often makes up as much as fifty percent of the flora (by area), hundreds of other species of flowering plants also find room to grow including some of our most colorful – as well as some of our rarest – species of flowering herbaceous perennials.

Hill Praries also occur.



 
The information on this page is tailored to Southern Illinois, Southwest Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri

Copyright © 2004 Jim Jung