Prairie Wildflowers

This past weekend we drove down to the Flint Hills to visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City. The last couple years have been very dry down that way, but this year there’s been enough rain to turn the prairie a lush green dotted with wildflowers.

Harland walking out onto the praire

Harland walking out onto the praire to view the sunset.

So we spent Saturday evening out among the flowers watching the sun set.

Here are a few pics I took to share with you:

Wild Alfalfa:

WILD ALFALFA

WILD ALFALFA

Wild Alfalfa was used by the Lakota to treat headaches and to ward off mosquitoes.

Prairie Larkspur:

PRAIRIE LARKSPUR

PRAIRIE LARKSPUR

Prairie Larkspur is named because of the resemblance of the flower to the spur on the foot of a lark.

Butterfly Milkweed:

BUTTERFLY MILKWEED

BUTTERFLY MILKWEED

Native Americans and pioneers both used the root of Butterfly Milkweed to treat respiratory problems, which is how this plant got it’s common name, “pleurisy root”.

Spider Antelopehorn:

SPIDER ANTELOPEHORN

SPIDER ANTELOPEHORN

The Navajo used Spider Antelopehorn to treat bites from rabid animals.

Prairie Coneflower:

PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER

PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER

Great Plains Native Americans used the leaves and stems of Prairie Coneflower medicinally to treat poison ivy, rattlesnake bites, headaches, and stomachaches.

Showy Evening Primrose:

SHOWY EVENING PRIMROSE

SHOWY EVENING PRIMROSE

This is one of my favorites. During the day, the plant goes unnoticed, green without any blooms. But as the sun sets, the flower buds unfurl their delicate white petals which wave to the slightest breeze like little silk handkerchiefs.

SHOWY EVENING PRIMROSE

SHOWY EVENING PRIMROSE

Each flower of the Showy Evening Primrose blooms only for one night. Come morning, the petals shrivel in the morning sun. The following evening, new buds open.

Black Sampson Echinacea:

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

Black-Sampson Echinacea contains pain-reducing compounds and was used by Native Americans to treat toothaches, sore throats, mumps, wounds, and burns.

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

I’ve never seen Echinacea blooming in such profusion.

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

BLACK SAMPSON ECHINACEA

Finally the sun set behind a grassy hill,

the flowers said goodbye,

Prairie_Flowers16

and we headed to our motel refreshed by the warm breeze and singing sounds of evening.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

18 comments to Prairie Wildflowers

  • Lorraine

    The flowers are beautiful! The Echinacea are really pretty. I like the ones that just a few petals…Can’t match those colors of the sunset either. You are blessed.

  • Glenda

    How many miles did you have to walk to get all those photos?
    Love the little spider on top of the echinacea!
    Love the showy evening primrose. Do they have a fragrance?
    My evening primrose bloomed for the first time last evening. The buds are all in a cluster at the top of the plant and of course that lemon yellow with the smell of lemon cake!
    The lady that gave me my first plant had no idea how much fun and pleasure she was passing along!

    • Suzanne

      Well, actually I was feeling kinda lazy so I got all those photos in a space of less than a city block. It’s a great wildflower year down at the Tallgrass.
      Those little spiders are on a lot of the flowers. They hang out there waiting for insects attracted by the blooms so they can catch and eat them. Devious little buggers.
      I’ve not noticed that the primrose has any fragrance.
      The Missouri Evening Primrose has a lemon fragrance too, like your garden variety does. Maybe only the yellow ones have smell.
      Have a great day Glenda!

  • Oh, how lovely!!! Just the thought of all that space and beauty makes me swoon.

  • Claudette

    Beautiful photos,so much to learn from nature! The roses were awesome too.
    Whose watching Kitty =^..^= Whenever we go away (which is rare) its a hassle to
    find someone to take care of all the animals 🙂

    • Suzanne

      Kitty’s very self sufficient…as long as we leave her water and food and her comfy red blanky, she’s a happy camper. But she is glad to see us when we return. 🙂

  • Jeanne

    Very educational! You have several flowers I’ve not seen before. Love the Black Samson Echinacea! My favorite of the ones you have here!

  • Ilse

    Love your pictures. They are beautiful!!! Makes me want to go back to the Tall Grass Prairie.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Wonderful flower shots. I can never get enough pics of wildflowers. Lovely.

  • Carol

    Do you have a problem with bees? They must be attracted to all the flowers, also wonder about the honey, with such a mix of flowers?Lovely pictures as always. Thanks.

  • Joey Bolz

    Hey,
    Love your blog. Found because of the Volland School. My favorite prairie flower is the Liatris. After the trip I took this weekend I think there are two different strains. I’d say it will be in full bloom in a week or two.
    Joey Bolz

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