Prairie Wildflowers

This past weekend we drove down to the Flint Hills to visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve┬ánear 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