02 September 2017

Grass in bloom

It's easy to forget that grasses have flowers, because the blooms are so tiny.  I believe this is Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) but there are hundreds of grasses in Wisconsin, and I can't guarantee the identity.  It's an attractive plant and one component of the traditional tall-grass prairie.

Photographed by my wife a couple days ago during a hike on the grounds of the Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin.

"Holy Wisdom Monastery is home to a diverse ecosystem spread across more than 130 acres of restored prairie, woodlands, wetlands, gardens, orchards and more. Nurturing partnerships with Dane County, Madison Community Foundation and others who value caring for the earth has always been important to us.

In September 2012, we acquired a 53-acre cornfield which we are committed to integrating and restoring to native prairie and oak savanna to help improve the water quality in Lake Mendota. In March 2015, we successfully met our goal of raising $1.9 million to cover the acquisition and initial management costs..."
Here's one more photo from that hike:  (Tiger Swallowtail on Bull Thistle)


  1. Yep. If your average human can name the plant and it isn't a moss, a fern, or a conifer odds are very good it is a flowering plant (a.k.a. an Angiosperm). Flowering has been a remarkably successful strategy.

    Flowering plants

  2. my neighbor, a farmer, id-ed 6 or 7 different grasses that grow in my hayfield, which he cuts for me, as well as their preferential order of eating by his cows.


  3. Wonder if you've ever been to the U.W. field station in Waterville? Marlin Johnson manages a nice little prairie restoration there... you should visit if you get a chance!


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