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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Prairie Update

Whoa, it's been a long time since we put anything new up here!  We've been hopping around the state doing outdoor education programs and pollinator awareness events, and haven't spent much time in the office.  Speaking of pollinators, I have a cool story for you about bees in Rock Springs - that'll come later.

Anyway, how about a green roof update?  I've been defending the term "green" roof lately, since the Berry Prairie isn't looking too green these days.  As you know, that's a term for a living roof, and our unusual plant selection doesn't always jive with the nomenclature.  I guess it's a tan roof with patches of green?  

Blooming Updates:

1. The beautiful Liatris (Liatris lewisii), also known as the Gayfeather, is in bloom.  This individual is short in stature, but the color packs a punch.  In larger bunches, these are pollinator meccas, with the flower heads usually vibrating with the number of bees on it.  Also, as you may recall, it was one of the only plants that still bloomed during the whole green roof removal debacle last year.

2.  The Laramie Columbine (Aquilegia laramiensis) has been blooming throughout the summer, one individual after another.  This is the largest of the blooms we've seen this year, isn't it fabulous?  

Trail Grasses Update

The grasses we are testing out with a few other green roofs are getting established.  You'll see that the Sun Sedge (which is not a grass) is loving life.  They've each put on new growth this year, and we're hopeful that this strand of blue grama will be a better fit for the green roof than the strand we have now.  So far the hairy grama isn't looking too spectacular, but it's still early.

New growth on the blue grama

Blue grama

Hairy grama
Sand dropseed
Sun sedge

Stay tuned for Kyle's post on the results of his survivability research, and on pollinators in Rock Springs, WY!

Written by Brenna Marsicek, Biodiversity Institute

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