Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Good Afternoon All!
I'm ecstatic to let you all know that we have just received native prairie grasses to plant for our Earth Day Prairie Restoration event coming up this Saturday thanks to the generosity of Dr. JoVonn Hill and the Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University!
We will be planting SIDE-OATS GRAMA, Bouteloua curtipendula. Side-oats are a perennial, prairie grass with deep root systems that allow them to withstand severe droughts (NPS 2017). These are vital prairie plants that exist throughout the United States, as well as Canada. Side-oats are endangered in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, threatened in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and of special concern in Kentucky (NRCS 2017).
Thus, although this species is not of great conservation concern in Mississippi currently, it is important to plant in prairies for a variety of reasons. Side-oats are vital because they provide:
- Erosion control,
- River bank stabilization,
- Drought survival,
- Wildlife such as deer and turkeys seeds for consumption (USDA 2017), and
- Nesting structures for native bees (Xerces Society 2017).
**To find out more information about local prairies and the value of side-oats grama, please see our information sources indicated above in the underlined text and links.