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Armstrong, Patricia K.

Ten years in a backyard prairie

Digitization Status
Date created
March 27 1999
Patricia Armstrong's assessment of the changes to her backyard prairie over the course of ten years. Details in changes of plants and wildlife.
The backyard prairie at Prairie Sun was planted from seed the fall of 1983. It has been burned every spring since 1985. Ten years of monitoring show a decrease in some species (Apocynum, Ceanothus, Coreopsis, iietris, Parthenium, Rudbeckia), an increase in some species (Baptisia, Camassia, Panicum, Pedicularis, Peialostemum, Sisyrinchium), and the moving around of still others (Andropogon, Asclepias, Echinacea, Petalostemum, Polytaenia, Ruellia, Solidago, Sorghastrum). Several "prairie" insects have found the prairie including the Baptisia weevil, Silphium weevil, Gaura moth, cone-headed grasshopper and a Petalostemum moth. Various reptiles, birds, and mammals have been observed in the prairie including Cooper's hawk and a family of red foxes showing that a small back yard prairie in the midst of urbanization can offer habitat suitable for wildlife.