PH provides Pine prairie seed for endangered Mississippi Gopher frog breeding site

Over the last couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of consulting with U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s wildlife biologist Tim Brooks on Pine prairie establishment and seed selection for the breeding ponds being established near Vancleave, Mississippi, at the Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Area. The Corps has constructed two- 2 acre ponds, simulating upland ephemeral ponds in a fire generated Long Leaf Pine ecosystem for the purpose of protecting the fate of the Mississippi Gopher frog.

Pertinent to the seed mix are three herbaceous species that have been documented as necessary for the frog’s breeding cycle, Juncus repens, Xyris species and Eupatorium perfoliatum. Tim tells me that the frog “almost exclusively uses the stiff stalk of this Eup (Boneset) to attach their egg masses to”. How cool! Especially since I have a lot of Boneset seed!! WHOO-HOOO!!

15 years ago, when I started construction of my seed fields in Mississippi, I left an area unseeded and have burned it just as I have the other seeded areas, ever since. In this spot, Bonset has established from a just a few at first, to several hundred mature plants. I will collecting the seed from these plants and adding it into the Bog edge-Flat woods mix that will be seeded around the pond edge, about three acres of ground in all.



above, the breeding ponds at Ward Bayou WMA, ready for seeding on November 2! photo by Tim Brooks


A sweet patch of Eupatorium perfoliatum, Boneset, in flower last week, at the Farm in Pearl River County, Mississippi.


amazing collections of Pine prairie bog and flatwoods associations have been made in the last couple of weeks with the extremely dry weather we’ve had. Three different collections, above, contain different dominants.


This one is of a hill side bog in Pearl River county


Mandeville Highway Planting, Highway 190 at Causeway Approach


checked out this cool spot yesterday in Mandeville, Louisiana where we planted Pine prairie last year in November. The white is Eupatorium serotinum, the vertical grasses are mostly Little Bluestem. The yellow is the fall blooming Coreopsis linifolia. You can barely see the ten thousand Calico Aster flowers.


Coreopsis linifolia, Bog Coreopsis, a Coreopsis tinctoria look-alike barely faing from full glory at Mandeville wildflower conservation area


Like a kid hunting an Easter Egg, I was thrilled to find this Indian grass inflorescence in the mix, one year from seed. That’s Little Bluestem in the background with tiny Calico Asters in lavender. click the photo to enlarge

Copiah-Lincoln County Community College, Mississippi gets seed delivery for Brady’s prairie!

Students of Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, along with Brady Dunaway, a student with a great passion for ecology, and Science Dept’s Dr. Kevin McKone, spearheaded the project. They’ve organized a day today to plant the prairie. Just in time for their first good rain in three months.


I had some time before I was to drop off seed for Co-Lin CC yesterday morning so stopped in at Lake Lincoln State Park and found this stunningly beautiful vista of Bidens laevis (positively ID’d by Dr. Charles Allen). Of couse the Picture doesn’t do the planting justice. The bright color yellow was radiant. Amazing beauty. A marginal aquatic plant. Wowser.


The stem of B. laevis has a length-wise channel running up it.


probably the worst pic ever taken of B. laevis but you get the point.

Totally un-native Pollinator crop comes into color at Reserve, Louisiana Industrial project site – gets results!


Imagine six acres of color crop with countless amounts of bees working. I counted seven Monarchs Butterflies in the fifteen minutes I was there.



I like using the big, tall-boy Zinnias. Natives or not, these plants attract copious amounts of critters. There is room for all kinds of landscapes that provide for our beloved insects.

The engineer I work with at this Refinery likes color with his pollinators so I have helped with his pollinator PR for some years now, producing large annual flowering, flower-ful landscapes, twice or three times a year.

cool residential projects


2 year old prairie garden in Spearsville, Louisiana, Union Parish, two miles from the Arkansas line. the youtube video below is me walking in the prairie. notice the crunching under feet. no rain in 100 days my friend Beth Erwin from Kalorama Nature Preserve tells me. The prairie was kick regardingless. And the sound of bees was pronounced. The field was literally buzzing. photo taken Oct 12, 2015 Eupatorium hyssopifolium and Eupatorium serotinum


above, a six acre prairie garden about to be planted, last week, in Ruston area of Louisiana


Last Monday I ducked into Doug Green’s place and saw his 2 year old pine prairie. It was flowerfullee! Doug did the planting on his own. All by his lonesome. 🙂


Doug with his field plowed, November 2013

LSU’s Lee Memorial State Forest has ancient (and recent) vegetation

I met with Joe Nehli, LSU AgCenter Forest Manager of the Lee Memorial Forest and got a treat since they have some really wonderful stands of old relict pine herbaceous understory. Lots of Big Bluestem, lots of Blazing Star, diversity galore, and the piece de resistance, the first time I have seen Sorgastrum ellioti, Elliot’s Indian grass. life is good ya’ll


Big Blue in bloom


Big Blue in fruit


the very groovy Elliot’s Indian grass


and its seed


Joe and I found a giant patch of the hatefully invasive and very tall, Bothriochloa Blahdii, Caucasian Bluestem grass (Blahdii’s very, very Badii, ya’ll ha). This shows how the seven foot stand of awfulness dwarfs Joe, who is probably 5-7″. Glad this is only in some isolated areas of the forest. White-boy Bluestem, as I call it, is a super-pest weed worse than Cogon, in my opinion, much more aggressive and super prolific seeder. yuk.


collecting last Sunday morning early, in a Tangipahoa Parish pine prairie that was mowed in August, I came across several plants of Asclepias longifolia in seed. What a find! click to enlarge




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