Blackland Prairie Mix Item # 2800 Rangeland Seeding Rate 10 lbs / acre Lawn & Garden Seeding 1 lb / 1000 sf Height 1-5 feet 250 sf / $19 d-pak 1-9 lbs $29 / lb 10-49 lbs $28 / lb 50+ lbs $27 / lb Blackland Prairie MixTM American Basketflower Annual Winecup Big Bluestem Black-eyed Susan Broomsedge Bluestem Buffalograss Butterflyweed Cane Bluestem Clasping Coneflower Common Milkweed Croton, Cutleaf Daisy Eastern Gamagrass Florida Paspalum Foxglove Gayfeather Green Milkweed Green Sprangletop Hooded Windmill Grass Illinois Bundleflower Indian Blanket Indiangrass, Inland Seaoats Lemon Mint Little Bluestem Maximilian Sunflower Partridge Pea Pink Evening Primrose Plains Bristlegrass Prairie Agalinis Plains Coreopsis Purple Prairie Clover Purpletop Pitcher Sage Prairie Verbena Prairie Wildrye Rattlesnake Master Rose Milkweed Showy Milkweed Sand Dropseed Sand Lovegrass Sideoats Grama Spiderwort Standing Cypress Switchgrass Tall Goldenrod Texas Cupgrass Texas Yellow Star Virginia Wildrye White Tridens Winecup Perennial White Rosinweed By 1900, the Blackland Prairie was mostly under cultivation, being recognized as one of the foremost cotton producing regions of the world. Many grand old Victorian homes in the cities and towns still exist as reminders of the fortunes made in those times. Cultivation was a catastrophic disruption of the prairie ecosystem. It was a common farmers’ joke to tell the story of an old Indian who, having seen a plowed field for the first time, said to the farmer, “Wrong side up.” The story was taken to be an illustration of the Indian’s ignorance, but in fact when the native grasses are turned under and the soil aerated, the organic matter decomposes faster. This creates a flush of nutrients available to cultivated crops, but when the crops are harvested, nutrients are removed with each harvest and the soil continues to be depleted year after year. Today’s dependence on chemical fertilizers is evidence that perhaps there’s more wisdom in that old Indian’s statement than was recognized at the time. Thankfully, many are seeking to restore original native plant communities. But potential pitfalls do exist in today’s restoration seed world. For example, if you ever plant Plains Bluestem in a showy Blackland prairie or anywhere else, you’d be interested learn how this enticing folksy plant-named alien grass is made up from 30 different strains of Old World Bluestems a.k.a. yellow bluestems. These aggressive bunchgrasses originate from Eurasia, China and Africa. The infamous KR Bluestem (see p.90) also falls in this group of eco-illogical pitfalls. Once you've got 'em, like Bermuda grass, they've really gotten to you. It's really, really hard to get these aliens out to ever again make room for natives. Our local Native prairie grasses are structurally quite different than alien 'improved' pasture grasses. For example, Texas' pasturelands are primarily planted to bermudagrass introduced from Africa. This alien grass creates a dense, tangled, matted turf. Native prairie grasses, by contrast, are typically bunch forming. This characteristic allows for wildlife to construct micro-trail systems under the grass canopy by traveling around the crowns of the root bases. Prairie birds such as quail and many small mammals rely on this structural type of prairie habitat for their basic patterns of reproduction and mobility. The over-story grass canopy provides protection from soaring hawks and other predators by keeping big portions of the micro-trails out of view. Nesting also occurs under this canopy or directly in the clumped bunchgrasses. Use well spent tax dollars @ plants.usda.gov to learn more. Native and alien plant names coupled with integrity are essential to restoring the land accurately. Native American Seed...helping people restore the earth. 52 species E c o S y s tem in a Bag T M 60 Native American Seed • 325 446 3600 If you know of native remnants suitable for large-scale harvest, please advise. We appreciate your interest in our work.