Prairie Facts

PHOTO: Meads milkweed

In North America, you can find tallgrass prairie, mixed-grass prairie, or shortgrass prairie.

  • Tallgrass: Its main feature is tall grasses, such as indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
  • Mixed-grass: A transition area between tallgrass prairies and shortgrass prairies.
  • Shortgrass: The two most dominant grasses are blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides); the two less dominant grasses are greasegrass (Tridens flavus) and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula).

There are three types of prairies: wet, mesic, and dry.

  • Wet prairies have moist soil. Water drainage is usually poor. As a result, bogs and fens may form. The soil is excellent farming soil.
  • Mesic prairies have good soil and good drainage. They are endangered due to converting to agricultural use.
  • Dry prairies can have wet to very dry soil during growing season. They have good drainage and can be found on uplands and slopes.

More information on prairies:

America’s Grasslands: A Threatened National Treasure

Preserving the Tallgrass Prairie

Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie (excerpt)

Karval Short Grass Prairie Center

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By | 2018-08-24T20:02:23+00:00 June 15th, 2018|0 Comments

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