Tag Archives: Tallgrass Prairie

Plant of The Week ASTER AZUREUS | Sky Blue Aster

Product Description

Sky Blue Aster (Aster azureus) Also known as Symphyotrichum oolentangiensis. Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region in a dizzying array of habitats from marshes to woodlands. Aster colonies frequently cover large areas. Prefers full sun to mesic and dry conditions. Excellent border plant. Often quite striking in color, the asters bloom from July through the first hard frost. Butterflies, bees and wasps are attracted to Sky Blue Aster.

From the Greek, “Aster” in reference to the shape of the flower and its bracts. At least 200 species are found across North America with dozens in the Tallgrass Praire region alone.

Blooms In Summer & Fall

Several tribes used the smoke from burning aster plants to assist in reviving persons who had fainted. Some other Native American tribes brewed a tea from aster plants to relieve headaches. In our area, the Meskwaki would make a smudge from Aster laeteriflorus to treat insanity (we tried it here, but our seed department crew is still a little off).

To Purchase This Beautiful Native Wildflower Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/products/ASTER-AZUREUS-%7C-Sky-Blue-Aster.html

 

 

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Iowan’s Plant Natives at Half the Cost Article

Iowan’s are planting native wildflowers and grasses at one half the cost of the seed.  Through a special program and a cooperative effort amongst private growers, Iowa DNR and Pheasants Forever, it is possible to get a voucher to add much diversity to your landscape using species that are native to Iowa.  This is a one of a kind program that benefits everyone involved.  It provides wildlife cover for pheasants, deer, rabbits and a host of beneficial insects including butterflies, moths and many other pollinators.  The natives include such species as Indian Grass and Big Bluestem which root down to enormous depths into the soil which control erosion much better than European imports such as Broom Grass.

Iowa witnessed one of the largest and fastest ecosystem loss in the world as the Tallgrass Prairie was very quickly turned into corn production.  Millions of acres of black rich soil that had been created by the deep-rooted prairie has now vanished.

Thanks to this special Habitat Program created by the  cooperation of Iowa Landowners, Iowa Native Seed Growers, The Iowa DNR and Pheasants Forever, the once lost Tallgrass Prairie is returning to once again replenish precious topsoil and control erosion.

By Howard Bright  http://ionxchange.com/

Royal Catchfly – Silene regia


Royal catchfly can reach 4 feet tall and with brilliant scarlet flowers blooming from June to September it can be spotted from a long way off. Stems are usually unbranched below the flowers and feels hairy and slightly clammy to the touch. Becoming less frequent but locally abundant in some mesic prairies and oak savannas. Very scattered in the southern ranges of the Tallgrass prairie region.

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Unknown

Herbal Uses: Unknown

Sun Exposure               Prairie, Savanna
Soil Moisture Mesic, Dry Mesic
Bloom Time Summer                      July, August
Bloom Color Red
Max Height 4 feet
Wetland Code UPL
Germ Code  C(60)
Seeds Per Ounce   23,000

Cup Plant – Silphium perfoliatum

Cup Plant Silphum perforliatum available at Ion Exchange

Cup Plant - Silphium perforliatum

 

 

Compass Plant, Rosinweed (also refers to S. integrifolium), Turpentine Plant, Polar Plant”

Silphium is an ancient Greek term for “resinous juices”. Perfoliatum is from the Latin for “with the leaf surrounding the stem so the stem appears to pass through the leaf”.

Sun Exposure               Prairie, Savanna
Soil Moisture Wet Mesic, Mesic
Bloom Time Summer, Fall                       July, August, September
Bloom Color Yellow
Max Height 8 feet
Wetland Code FACW-
Germ Code  C(60)
Seeds Per Ounce  1,400

Found throughout the tallgrass Prairie region and south on mesic prairies. Bright yellow flowers bloom from July through August. Very tall plant, sometimes reaching 8 or more feet. The taproot is also very long, reaching as much as 4 to 5 feet into the ground. The distinctive joined leaves form a cup that can actually hold water after a rain. Many’s the time we have seen finches and sparrows bathing in the cup on a hot summer day.

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Cup plant was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. A decoction of the root has been used to treat the stoppage of periods, and also to treat morning sickness and to prevent the premature birth of a child. In view of these conflicting uses, it is best that it is not used by pregnant women unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. The root is alterative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, stimulant, styptic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of liver and spleen disorders and has also been used to treat morning sickness. A decoction of the root has been used internally in the treatment of back and chest pain and lung haemorrhages. A decoction of the root has been used as a face wash to treat paralysis. A poultice of the moistened dried root has been applied to wounds to stop the bleeding.

Herbal Uses: Unknown

To learn more visit Ion Exchange – A Native Seed and Plant Nursery

Wildflower of the Week – Yellow Coneflower – Ratibida pinnata

Native wildflower Yellow Coneflower

Yellow Coneflower - Ratibida pinnata

“Drooping Coneflower, Gray Coneflower, Prairie Coneflower, Weary Susan,rayheaded Coneflower”
Origin of the name Ratibida is not known. Pinnata comes from the Latin word meaning “featherlike
Sun Exposure Prairie, Savanna
Soil Moisture Mesic, Dry Mesic
Bloom Time, Summer, Fall July, August, September
Bloom Color Yellow
Max Height 5 feet
Wetland Code UPL
Germ Code C(30)
Seeds Per Ounce 30,000
Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region and extensively elsewhere. Prefers dry areas, roadsides, along old railroad right-of-ways. Root system is a very stout, sturdy rhizome. One or several yellow flowers may top a single stem. Grows tall and erect to about 4 feet. Grows easily from seed and is often found as a sturdy and plentiful survivor on former prairies where nearly all of the original plants have disappeared.

Native Americans made a refreshing tea from the cones and leaves of yellow coneflower. The Meskwaki used the root as an ingredient to cure toothaches.

To learn more about this species visit Ion Exchange To view short video on Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata visit Ion Exchange Video

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Usse: Unknown

Herbal Uses: Unknown

Wildflower of the Week – Oxeye Sunflower -Heliopsis helianthoides

Oxeye Sunflower, False Sunflower”

Heliopsis from the Greek word helios for “sun” and opsis for “appearance”. Helianthoides also from the Greek meaning “like Helianthus”, the sunflower. Found throughout the Tallgrass Prairie region and in other open prairie areas, especially on dry soils. Also does quite well in disturbed areas and dry woods. Blooms from June to October. Can grow to 5 feet tall with stem branched toward the top of the plant. Arrowhead-shaped leaves are opposite on the stem and can be 6 inches long. Stem may be topped by a single light yellow flower or branched into a head of many flowers. No medicinal or food uses reported but it has been used widely as an ornamental in gardens.

Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Unknown

Herbal Uses: Unknown

Native wildflower Ox-eye Sunflower Heliopsis helianthoides

Oxeye Sunflower

Ion Exchange – A Native Seed and Plant Nursery