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Little plants on the prairie…

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This afternoon Claire and I struck out for Staffanson Prairie to check on the flowering status of Echinacea. Over the course of the summer, we will be monitoring the phenology of mapped plants at Staffanson to examine how fire influences mating opportunities and reproductive success in Echinacea populations. We found several plants getting ready to flower (including Echinacea #7553 photographed by Claire) but we are still a week away from floret emergence. Although Echinacea bracts were closed tight, we did find numerous other species in bloom such as Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum), Yellow Sundrops (Calylophus serrulatus), Prairie phlox (Phlox pilosa), Prairie Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii), Silverleaf Scurfpea (Pediomelum argophyllum but always Psoralea to me), and the aptly named Mountain Death Camas (Zigadenus elegans).

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