Native Grassland

Native grassland. Although typical midwestern prairie did not occur in the central Bluegrass before settlement, there are several native grasses and wildflowers that would have lined bison trails, then surrounded human camps and villages as they grew. Plantings in the park emphasize uncommon to rare species that are native in the central Bluegrass. Thick tall grass and weedy look could be avoided by mowing sections at careful intervals, 1-3 times per year.

Typical soils: nutrient-rich, especially on gentler slopes with deeper ancient soils (paleudalfs), and perhaps locally on damper swales with more organic soils (argiudolls).

Typical grasses: grease-grass and broomsedge of hayed fields; also, the narrow-leaved variant of bluegrass may be native.

Typical wildflowers: These include milkweeds, Culver’s root, biennial beeblossom, purple cone-flower, ox-eye sunflower, New England-aster, goldenrods, and gray-headed coneflower.

For more details. at, see section E in “Central Bluegrass Plants”; also “Bluegrass Woodland and its Eutrophic Nature”.

Monarch butterfly on New England aster
Monarch butterfly on New England aster: these species (with milkweed essential for caterpillars) are typical of roadsides, fencerows and old fields.

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