These "hidden prairies" also contain a stunning diversity of native plants, including wild quinine, spiked lobelia, purple prairie clover
, and many others.
These included switchgrass, annual sunflower, white and purple prairie clover
(Dalea candida, Daleapurpurea), Rocky Mountain bee plant, hoary vervain (Verbena stricta), sand lovegrass, and alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides).
Researchers are examining other native legumes for use as forages include: false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa), Canada milkvetch (Astralagus canadensis), showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense), purple prairie clover
(Dalea purpurea), downy milkpea (Galactia volubilis), prairie acacia (Acacia angustissima), showy partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata), American vetch (Vicia americana), and lead plant (Amorpha canescens).
Birdsfoot violet, blazingstars, purple prairie clover
, yellow coneflower, show goldenrod, shooting star, whorled milkweed, kittentails, thimbleweed, bush clover, wild indigo, forget-me-nots, and prairie smoke spring forth.
Purple Prairie Clover
1 Eryngium yuccifolium Michx.
Their stands of native bluestem grass, yellow prairie coneflower, purple prairie clover
and other plants are now so bountiful that they can share seed with schools and neighbors who want to establish their own prairies.
I am attracted to a plant I have never heard of - it is called purple prairie clover
(Petalostemon purpurea) and has a fan-shaped habit of growth, much like a peacock's feathers or Queen Elizabeth's crown, each stem terminating in a long purple inflorescence.
Gray goldenrod, sessileleaved tick trefoil, and purple prairie clover
were more common on Twin Mounds hill prairie while Aster oblongifolius Nutt.