*EDIT* Woo! I just passed 20,000 views on my blog with this post! Thank you all so very much for your support!
|The North Prairie at Lynx Prairie.|
Indian Pipe and Squawroot), and now I can also add American Bluehearts to that list. American Bluehearts are what is known as "hemiparasitic," which means that while they can live independently, they can also live as parasites. In the case of American Bluehearts, this species will attach parasitic roots to nearby trees and take nutrients from them, especially when there are difficult living conditions, like a drought, going on.
Scaly Blazingstar feature.
Purple and Gray-Headed Coneflowers can be found in Ohio prairies, but in my experience the Gray-Headed Coneflower generally outnumbers the Purple. Notice the drooping yellow petals, a diagnostic feature. A taller species that can reach heights of 3-4 feet, Gray-Headed Coneflowers offered a nice contrast to the low greens of Lynx Prairie as their yellow flowers jutted up into the sky. Gray-Headed Coneflower is an inhabitant of prairies, forest edges, thickets, and railroad right-of-ways. A hardy species, Gray-Headed Coneflower can thrive in both xeric (dry) and mesic (moist) environments. This species can generally be found in the western, glaciated parts of Ohio, but has also been recorded in eastern counties like Athens County.
BONAP has more counties listed...). The flowers of Rattlesnake Master are unmistakable if you do come across one though, so there's no doubting you found one if you know what they look like. I love Rattlesnake Master and it's always a treat to come across. Chaparral Prairie SNP has the largest population in the state if you're wanting to see some for sure.
Another common flower at Lynx Prairie was the small, but attention-grabbing, Common Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris. This species is by no means a prairie-only flower. In fact, this incredibly common species has been recorded in basically every single county in Ohio. You can find this flower in a variety of habitats including waste areas, edges of forests, fields, and the likes. The nativity of this species is questionable. There are different varieties of this species, and a few of those are considered native. However, other varieties are from Eurasia and have been introduced here. As a result, a close look by trained eyes can help determine if an individual is probably native or not. I, however, am not a trained eye, so I have no idea if this is a native or foreign strand. Regardless, this is a very attractive flower. Normally the ones I run across only have a few flowers on them as the others haven't bloomed yet or have fallen off. This individual had the fullest bloom I've ever seen in Common Self Heal.
Another common flower at Chaparral Prairie SNP was the Partridge Pea, Chamaecrista fasciculate. Notice the four petals with red center. Also notice the Honey-Locust-like leaves. This species almost looks like the tiny sapling of a locust tree in my opinion. Like many prairie species, Partridge Pea benefits greatly from a prairie fire every few years. After an area is burned, this species can be found in great numbers and generally decreases in number every year after until the area is burned again. This is a species that loves disturbed areas, dry and moist prairies, roadsides, savannas, and other similar habitats. Partridge Pea has been recorded in about 30 or so counties here in Ohio. It's mainly found in the southern counties and seems to follow Ohio River tributaries (like the Scioto River) northward.
These are only a handful of the flowers we came across while in Adams County, but to add them all would make for a massive post. There are more posts to come based around Adams County, but I also have a post on Gallagher Fen SNP in the works and a few others, so stay tuned!