The Quercus macrocarpa specimen seems to be losing a few branches. But, considering it is still alive after all this time, I am sure the root system has continued to expand, and its continuous process of growth and death and regrowth appears to be off to a good start.
Coreopsis tinctoria, Plains Coreopsis...sprouted from the annual seed mix.
A beautiful grasshopper specimen, hanging out on the flowers of a Eutrochium maculatum, (formerly Eupatorium maculatum), Joe Pye Weed... grown from a plug from Wildtype Nursery.
Bouteloua curtipendula, or Side-oats Grama, sprouted from Native Connections Dry-Shortgrass prairie seed mix.
This is a Liatris spp. (not L. cylindricea). I also observed some specimens of probably Symphyotricum novae-angliae (formerly Aster novae-angliae). These two species were not included in either seed mix. So, both species were either here naturally or sneaky inclusions in the seed mixes, which, given how the seed mixes are collected and prepared, would not be surprising. Both are native species, so both are most welcome!
Monarda punctata, more commonly called Horsemint, with its surprising flowers...sprouted from Native Connections Dry-Shortgrass prairie seed mix.
The plugs from Asclepias syriaca and Rudbeckia hirta survived at such a high percentage, that you can basically see the line of where the plugs were planted.
Other species that I observed, which probably sprouted from the Native Connections Dry-Shortgrass prairie seed mix were Anemone cylindrica, Asclepias tuberosa, Bouteloua curtipendula, Bromus kalmii, Echinacia purpurea, Helianthus occidentalis, Lobelia cardinalis, Panicum virgatum, Rudbeckia hirta, Sporobolus heterolepis ... I only observed one or a few specimens of these species.
Third, the super ugly! Some non-native invasive species were taking advantage of the disturbed soil and, unfortunately, moving in. I observed probably significant populations of Securigera varia or Crown-Vetch (probable ID, photo below), Eleagnus umbellata (mentioned in previous post), Queen Anne's Lace, and, possibly, Phragmites australis (probable ID, photo above).
I plan to provide recommendations to my client to manage these non-native species and to continue pushing the prairie in an ecologically beneficial direction. Possible recommendations might include:
- Mowing the prairie early Spring 2016 (especially the areas with Crown-Vetch and Autumn-Olive). There is not adequate fuel for performing a thorough prescribed burn yet.
- Removal or cutting and painting the Autumn-Olive.
- Cutting/treating the Phragmites.
- There are some other native species, which might like to compete in this space. So, I might recommend planting those plugs or spreading those seeds.
- Once the fuel-load is adequately dense, performing a prescribed burn. After breaks are mowed, the actual burning would likely take just a few minutes. If a burn is not possible, mowing annually or bi-annually.