Matthew Herron talk- origins, ecology, and conservation of southeastern prairies

Matthew Herron, biologist, naturalist and native plant enthusiast, will speak to the Cajun Prairie Society Field Day group – the title and general description of his talk is…..
“Southeastern Prairies: Origins, Ecology and Conservation
This talk will review some of the geology and biogeography surrounding southeastern prairies, aiming to frame Cajun Prairies within the broader landscape of the rich southeastern flora. We will make a round trip to various prairies and prairie like systems for better context and look at how principles in plant ecology can help us appreciate the diversity of prairie flora. We will then look forward to current opportunities for conservation, education and restoration.”

Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society Meeting

April 08, 2017

8:00 AM:  Tours of Duralde Restored Prairie.
10:00 AM:   Eunice Restored Prairies
12 noon   Lunch with a Society business meeting and speaker, at Rocky’s Restaurant located at 1415 E Laurel Ave, Eunice, LA 70535  (337) 457-6999.

 Seed and Plant Auction at the end of the meeting
seed list so far
  • Andropogon elliotti   Washington Parish
  • Schizachirium scoparium  Jeff Davis Parish
  • Andropogon ternarius  Acadiana
  • Sorghastrum elliotti – Wash Parish
  • Sorghastrum nutans – Acadiana
  • Aristida purpurascens  Acadiana
  • Monarda lindhiemeri Eunice prairie
  • Monarda fistulosum Washington Parish
  • Gaillardia aesitivalus Washington Parish
  • Gaillardia aesitivalus var winklerii (Texas, eww)
  • Cajun Prairie seed mix
  • St Tammany Parish/ Tangipahoa flatwoods seed mix
 plant list
  • variegated Manfreda virginica Frey Prairie origin
  • Elliott’s Indian grass   Wash Parish
  • Pychnanthemum albescens La/Ms genes
  • Pycnanthemum albescens “Malcolm Mint/ spearmint” Acadiana
  • dwarf Switch grass   Acadiana
  • dwarf Indian grass  Mississippi Gail Barton origin
  • dwarf Eastern Gamma grass cajun prairie origin
  • Brooksville, Ms. Blue Switch grass   Gail Barton
  • Big Bluestem Acadiana
  • Little Bluestem grass  Acadiana
  • sporobolus junceus Acadiana origin
  • eryngium yuccafolia  Acadiana origin
  • Eupatorium hyssopifolia  Acadiana
  • Rudbeckia nidita var texana
  • Indian grass Acadiana
  • Tridens flavus

from Steven Dale Nevitt

  • Echinacea pallida                            LA
  • Echinacea purpurea                        LA
  • Baptisia alba                                  Cajun prairie
  • Gaillardia aestivalis                       Acadiana
  • Indian grass, blue leaf selection      Cajun prairie
  • Sideoats grama                            Cameron parish
  • Iris nelsonii                                 Vermilion parish
  • Rudbeckia maxima                         LA
From Dr. Malcolm Vidrine’s Iris collection…. “I will be bringing some young Louisiana Iris and, some old ones.”
just sayin’,
hanging out with Charles Allen, you can learn some stuff. The brilliance just oozes from his pores (ooh gros, I know!). His gardens are amazing, all filled with flowers for specific groups of awesome insects – scientific studies, each one.
Its elementary, my dear Watson.
I burned Dr. Allen’s meadow garden and got time to gossip and to see what was visiting on his moth sheets. Yes, I said moth sheets. He monitors the lamp-lit sheets in early evening and in pre-dawn morning. He has identified over 540 species so far, in the last year or so.
cool waspy
sphinx moth eats Virginia Creeper and Muscadines. nummy
Pardon, this is supposed to be significant but I can’t remember why, duh
Luna Moth caterpillars eat Hickory, Sweet Gum and Walnut.
If I were as smart as Charles, I could tell you what this is. ha
we got some really good fire in his meadow field. Some really robust flamage for sure. Burnt up some stuff. There was a big sigh of relief when we were complete.  ahhh… feeling the burn.
Duralde prairie demo 2-acre grid garden is producing some great stands of plants these days from seed we planted
a ten foot by twelve foot rectangle full of Eryngium yuccafolia seedlings, three years old
above, a very sound planting of Rudbeckia grandiflora. We designed a grid garden, planting eighty rectangles using cool Cajun Prairie seed.
adjacent to the demo garden is a prairie field dotted by a hundred  thousand Erigeron strigosus. In the distance, an old diversity strip we planted, seed collections back ten years ago from Eunice restored site. The grid garden is located in the 330 acre restored prairie at Duralde owned by Lacassinne National Wildlife Refuge, restored via Cajun Prairie Society, managed in partnership with Lacassinne and CP Society.


Malcolm Vidrine’s garden is so fun to see
Malcolm has a bossanova collection of Spiderwort collorations
Propagating pots of a lipstick pink Tradescantia
Dr. Vidrine with variations of Prairie Phlox flowers, below
His nursery is packed full of interesting research and development propagation experiments. Most are successful. All are interesting
Manure tea used for fertilizing seedlings = healthy plants and flowers.
seedling Rudbeckia subtomentosa, above
a pot packed with yearling seedlings of Asclepias perennis
Bluestars at peak flower in the garden
Eunice Prairie response to burn is telling
below, day of the controlled burn, just before we started February 17th, 8:00 am
 above, one month later, March 18th, 7:30 am
above, March 18th, 8:30 am
above, March 18th,12:00 pm
lots of PocPoc Plants – Baptisia spherocarpa
a Big Bluestem grass mass
Amsonias – Blue Stars and Baptisias
Bee Balm on an micro-relief ant pile
Liatris – a clump of Blazingstar

that there’s some pretty ground, folks.

2 thoughts on “Matthew Herron talk- origins, ecology, and conservation of southeastern prairies

  1. Hi Marc,

    I am very interested in attending the Matthew Herron talk and 8am – Noon field day trip that you are having this Saturday. Is the whole day open to the public? And if it’s not too late, how can I sign up?

    Thanks so much. I really enjoy your blog posts and am fascinated by your work! Jane Satterlee

    • Yes. The field day is open to all. Come and see the best restored prairie in the south. No need to sign up. Check out or just call me. At 504 296 1862. I will guide you to our field day. Peace and pairieness.

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