Source: Joel McNeal
More protection will be provided for this lovely wildflower, Aster novae-angliae (New England aster) when it is re-planted in the prairie patch. The first specimens did not survive, most likely due to competition with taller plants and browsing by groundhogs.


Source: Joel McNeal
The habitat of Bouteloua curtipendula (side-oats grama) is being threatened throughout most of its natural range in Pennsylvania.


Source: Tim Phelps
Anemone cylindrica (long-headed anemone) is critically endangered in Pennsylvania. Highlighting this species in the prairie patch will help educate visitors about the need to preserve its habitat.




Learning More About the Plants That Live in a
Prairie Community

Source: Joel McNeal
This specimen of Penstemon hirsutus (northeastern beardtongue) was found on a rocky slope within the Arboretum. We will attempt to germinate seeds of this species for the restored prairie because it is one of the plants one might find growing among the grasses in a prairie remnant. 

The list below includes the plants whose seeds were germinated in 2001 for the prairie restoration pilot study. Names in boldface are plants that were still growing in the prairie patch after two years.

An asterisk (*) indicates that the plant is critically endangered in Pennsylvania.

The "+" symbol indicates that the plant is threatened in Pennsylvania.

The "#" symbol indicates that the plant is a species of special concern, or has an undetermined status.

For complete definitions of these terms, as well as other rank and status definitions, please visit the following page on the Web site of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:


Botanical Name

Common Name

Allium cernuum
Nodding onion
Anaphalis margaritacea
Pearly everlasting
Andropogon virginicus
Broom sedge
Anemone cylindrica
Long-headed anemone*
Anemone virginiana
Asclepias tuberosa
Aster laevis
Smooth blue aster
Aster novae-angliae
New England aster
Bouteloua curtipendula
Side-oats grama+
Bromus kalmii
Eupatorium altissimum
Tall eupatorium
Gaura biennis
Biennial gaura
Helianthus decapetalus
Thin-leaved sunflower
Monarda fistulosa
Wild bergamot
Penstemon digitalis
Tall beardtongue
Pycnanthemum muticum
Pycnanthemum virginianum
Silphium trifoliatum
Whorled rosinweed
Solidago bicolor
Solidago nemoralis
Gray goldenrod
Solidago rigidas
Stiff goldenrod


Source: Joel McNeal
Managing the prairie patch will involve keeping groundhogs away from Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly-weed), one of their favorite foods in the research plot. This native wildflower is often found in dry fields, on roadsides, and in shale barrens. It flowers in July and August.

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