Thursday, July 14, 2011

Prairie Flowers

While the Kalamazoo Nature Center is my favorite spot for Spring wildflowers, I don't always think of it for summer blooms. I visited earlier this week and the prairie flowers were spectacular. Black-eyed Susan were at their peak. Monarch butterflies were drinking nectar from the Wild Bergamot. Butterfly Milkweed and Common Milkweed were in flower, along with both purple and yellow coneflowers.
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta

Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea

Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea

Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa

The prairie flowers can be easily seen from the Prairie View parking lot (on Westnedge about a half mile south of the main entrance) and from the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. To walk the prairie, start at the Interpretive Center, cross the bridge over Trout Run stream, then head uphill. The bright colors of the prairie make quite a contrast from the cool dark woods.

Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N. Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

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