Text and Photography by Mark Jordan
Nachusa has an incredibly diverse plant population which can be appreciated from very early spring to late fall. Some of these plants are spectacular for a variety of reasons: some are rare, some are not common to Nachusa, and some call attention when they blanket the landscape.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) blooms in the woodlands in early spring. Its white blossoms provide a beautiful contrast to the dry, brown leaves left on the forest floor from the previous fall.
Birdsfoot Violet (Viola pedata lineariloba) is a rather rare plant, preferring dry, sandy soils. It blooms in spring and occurs in several places at Nachusa.
Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon meadia) have an unusual structure and delicate beauty, which can be observed in spring throughout the grasslands.
Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthea leucophaea) is a truly rare plant, listed as endangered. They like moist areas and bloom in early summer in only a few spots at Nachusa.
Fringed Gentian (Gentiana procera) also likes wet, moist areas. It is a late summer bloomer and with its deep blue/purple color it is always a delightful surprise when found.
Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra) is rare at Nachusa, occurring in only a few places. It is one of the most spectacular plants blooming in summer if you're lucky enough to discover them.
Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) and Foxglove Beard Tongue (Penstemon digitalis) are common plants at the grasslands. They are quite spectacular when seen in mass and definitely have the "wow" factor.
Today's blog was created by Charles Larry, a Nachusa photographer and volunteer. To see more of his images go to: charleslarryphotography.zenfolio.com
I am a nature photographer, a freelance graphic designer, and Nachusa's steward of the Thelma Carpenter Prairie. I have been taking photos for Nachusa since 2012.
I have been a high school French teacher, registered piano technician, and librarian. In retirement I am a volunteer historian at Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society.