What’s your sign? A guide to the stars for prairie plants

Hi floggers! It’s me, Kristen, your resident prairie plant astrologist. The alignment of the stars and planets has captivated humans for centuries. In times of confusion humans have looked to the sky for answers. Many think that how these celestial bodies move throughout the sky determine the course of our lives. Do you struggle with finding the thread of greater meaning among the events of your life? Do you suffer from a constant internal battle between the head and the heart? Astrology may have answers to some of these questions for you, human. But did you know that just like people, prairie plants ALSO have their own horoscopes?

In times of confusion, like loss of habitat, lack of essential nutrients, threats from pollution and other anthropogenic forces – our astrological bodies can provide plant communities with guidance towards higher survival and reproductive success. Many weeks ago on my Instagram story (@kristenmanion) I did a similar reading of the signs as prairie plants.  This time I have used plants exclusively found in Echinacea Project field sites.Below I provide characteristics for the signs in the form of prairie plants based on my interpretation of their alignment with the stars. For simplicity, I have decided only to use Sun signs in this analysis.

Below from left to right:

Capricorn. Heliopsis helianthoides. – Wow False sunflower. You work hard to attract those pollinators. Remember that hard work can take you far, but it’s important to remember your roots and appreciate the pollen donors and stigma receptors who got you there.

Aquarius. Capsella pursa-pastoris. – Shephard’s purse you intellectual! Don’t forget that sometimes matters of the heart are important along with the head.  Life’s emotions can be complex, consider your roots.

Pisces.  Convolvulis arvensis. – Classic field bindweed producing a gorgeous and showy white flower. Your creative side is your strength but can also be your weakness. Consider that inspiration can come from unlikely places!

Taurus. Asclepias viridifloris. – Spider milkweed, you’re almost ready to attract those butterflies! As a Taurus you never seem to forget to relax and kick back. It’s okay to work hard sometimes – more milky latex the better!

Gemini. Echinacea angustifolia. – Oh, my dear Echinacea! Why of course you would be a Gemini. Your beauty illicits feelings of great joy, yet why do you also seem to provide us with our greatest challenges? Perhaps it is because there are two sides to you. We love to see you blooming, yet we don’t want to harvest 1800 heads in P2!

Cancer. Pediomelum argophyllum. – Just like you Cancer, silver leaf scurf pea is soft around the edges. Remember that just because you might be a little sensitive you are still important. Fixing nitrogen is so important to the prairie! You’re value is never underrated.

Leo. Anemone canadensis. – I know you Leos like to be proud, and boy are anemones a proud bunch. Don’t forget that just because you like to show off doesn’t mean you can’t step out of the limelight for a less popular floral neighbor. It’s okay to be okay with not always performing!

Virgo. Zizea aurea – The prim and proper golden alexander knows that order is key to a productive life. Sometimes though, you may find yourself overwhelmed by your blooms. Take a step back and reevaluate when things get tough.

Libra. Lithospermum canescens. – Just like you, hoary puccoon, is an interesting plant! We know that you like to be balanced Libra but that you also don’t like to move away from your comfort zone. Consider thinking outside the box. It may reward you!

Scorpio. Tradescantia occidentalis. – Spiderworts are very mysterious, just like sun sign Scorpio. We know you have a meaning behind the madness but don’t forget that transparency is okay too. The team wants to know what you’re thinking inside your head!

Aries. Symphoricarpos albus. – You can be tough sometimes (especially given your woody habit)! Consider other points of view. You thrive when other people help you out, don’t forget that you can be someone to lean on too.

Sagittarius. Lotus corniculatus. – The only non-native in this list, but you don’t care, Birdsfoot trefoil, because you love to travel. Sometimes it’s okay to not spread so much. When there’s too much of you, it can force others to feel like they can’t shine.

This has been the first edition of “The Signs as Prairie Plants.” Consider ways in which the stars can guide your life and remember sage advice from plants in the prairie: always remember your roots!

As we learn from our struggles of today (whether it be setting up emergence tents at EELR, checking twist ties at p2, or learning how to be an efficient team member there is always something to be learned about oneself. Sometimes the struggle is worth it! Consider this as we lean into this next few weeks.

Love Your Prairie Plant Astrologer,


Kristen setting up emergence tents for the first time.

The team after surviving the onslaught of mosquitoes at p2.


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