Some of what I call the prairie plants are blooming. These are plants with really deep root systems, they are accustomed to the normally dry conditions on the prairie and go deep for water to sustain themselves.
White Prairie Clover or Petalostemum candida is also a native plant. You have to really search for this one, it grows as a single plant and its color can get lost among the hordes of white wildflowers blooming..like the "white weedy wonders" Pennycress and Hoary Alyssum. White Prairie Clover blooms from the bottom of the cone shaped head to the top just like it's purple sister. It's roots can reach five feet deep.
Purple Prairie Clover or Petalostemum purpureum is the native purple sister that will knock your socks off when you see her out on the prairie. I have been searching for this plant for a year now, I knew that there should be some around..the other day I saw it out in a field..and Chance and I went back to check it out.
What a sight they were in the evening light, they really stick out like a sore thumb once you see them you will have no doubt that you have seen one of the true gems of the prairie.
Prairie Lily or Lilium philadelphicum is another native plant. This one is the only upward pointing lily that grows on the prairie. I have noticed that it likes the opposite side of the ditch..the shady side that is farther from the edge of the road..I have only seen this one in the ditch..not on the prairie.
This is Common Mullen or the Flannel Plant or Verbascum thapsus. This one is a biennial, which means that the first year it forms a rosette of growth and the second year it shoots its bloom upward, and then dies. ( It re-seeds itself nicely for a perpetual display from one year to the next.) This is a non native plant. However it is one that I find very interesting. It's soft bulky leaves were used by the pioneers and the Native Americans inside their footwear for warmth in the winter. They also dipped this flower stalk in bear grease and used it as a torch. Since this flower stalk/seed head persists into winter..I always look for them, when they are covered with snow..I know the snow is deep because this plant can grow from two to six feet tall. Oh yeah..if you ladies are in need of a little blush on your cheeks you can use this plant to irritate your cheeks for a rosy glow..kinda like natures makeup:)