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Tag Archives: wildflowers

Summer Wildflowers of the Sandhills

Yucca (Yucca glauca) adorns a sand dune in Cherry County. Also called soapweed, the plant’s crushed roots, when agitated in water, produce a lather used as a shampoo by Great Plains tribes. They ate the flowers, flower stalks and young seedpods raw or cooked.

Blooms on the Dunes From many Sandhills dune tops, one can see prairie stretching to the horizons. North America’s largest sand dune field, the wind-whipped Sandhills, covers more than 20,000 square miles of north-central Nebraska, ranging from low and rolling to steep and towering. The Sandhills is also our nation’s most intact grassland ecosystem – the wildflower-rich prairie, a vestige of times past. n 1795, James Mackay, working for the Upper Missouri Company, led the first European expedition into the heart of the …

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Wildflower Power: Inviting the Pollinators

I’m a lover of wildflowers. Seeing, smelling, identifying and just being amid native wildflowers are on my list of my favorite outdoor pursuits in Nebraska’s landscape. And, you know what? Those wildflowers are more important than ever! No, scratch that. Indirectly, those native wildflowers are vital to all life on our planet Earth! Allow me to explain. For one out of every three bites of food you eat, you need to thank a bee, butterfly, beetle, bat, bird or other animal transferring pollen from one native wildflower to another! In fact, these animals on …

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Promoting Pollinator Habitat Week

“Pollination is one of the most important mechanisms in the maintenance and promotion of biodiversity and, in general, life on Earth. Pollination benefits society by increasing food, security and improving livelihoods.” – Convention on Biological Diversity, Sustaining Life on Earth.   We are in the midst of National Pollinator Habitat Week (June 15-21) here in Nebraska and elsewhere in this great country. I am promoting it and proud to say that our family farm in southeastern Nebraska is enrolled entirely …

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Wild about Wildflowers on the Wagner Farm

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing native wildflowers in good habitat on a farm, huh? I know I do! I am so wild about wildflowers (forbs) that I have planted a number of applicable varieties on our 148 year-old southeastern Nebraska farm in our Conservation Reserve Program acres. I am proud of the pollinator habitat we have established. Here it is at work! According to the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), pollinators play a crucial role in the reproduction of many plants, including many of …

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A Plug for the CRP

I ALWAYS like to get a plug in for the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program when there is a sign up period happening for it. In fact, we are in the midst of one right now and it continues through June 14th! Let me tell you, in today’s world, there is no other conservation program that has done so much for habitat on such a broad scale for so many different wildlife species than the CRP. I know first hand as …

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