2020 Fall Plant List




Type of Plant

Sunlight Level

Moisture Level

Sun Requirement

 Prairie (Full Sun): These conditions are found where tree cover is zero to about twenty percent during the growing season.  The prairies and meadows around here were historically kept shade free by the periodic hot fires racing through them keeping any existing trees in a herbaceous state (dying back to the ground annually/periodically).  Herbaceous (grasses and flowers) growth occurs during the entire growing season due to the unrestricted sunlight.

  Savanna (Part Shade): Savannas are characterised by tree cover of twenty to about 75 percent.  These habitats developed in areas with more protection from fire - so they burned less frequently and cooler (with less fuel) then prairies.  Herbaceous growth is reduced because of the increase in shade.

  Woodland (Full Shade): Woodlands exist where tree cover is greater then about 80 percent - this can also describe conditions in other environments too, like north facing ravines.  These areas burned infrequently.  Woodlands are home to the "spring ephemerals", the beautiful flowering plants that complete their life cycle before the deciduous trees have fully leafed out.  Herbaceous plant growth during the rest of the season is severly limited by the lack of sunlight, leading to very patchy and sparse plant coverage.

Soil Moisture

 Wet: Wet conditions are are found in a variety of areas commonly refered to as wetlands; sedge meadows, fens, bogs, flatwoods, and marshes with emergent vegetation.  The soils are saturated for at least a couple weeks during the growing season and then have a water table no deeper then about six inches below the surface the rest of the season. Common plants found here include, tussock sedge, blue flag iris, marsh marigold, cord grass, and blue joint grass.  These areas also harbor invasive species like reed canary grass, common reed grass, and purple loosestrife.

 Mesic: Mesic conditions are typically associated with ecosystems like the tall grass prairie.  The soil is well drained but there is a rich organic black soil layer that retains moisture throughout the season, thus protecting the plants from drought.  Typical plant species include, big bluestem grass, indian grass, prairie blazing star, and wild quinine.

 Dry: Dry conditions are found in very well drained areas like sand dunes (depending on the water table) and gravel hill prairies.   These areas may also be refered to as short grass prairies, the grasses and flowers being particularly well adapted to the often droughty conditions.  Typical plant species include little bluestem grass, side oats grama grass, cylindric blazing star, and purple prairie clover.


Red Buffalo Nursery - Richmond, IL - 815-678-4848