Saturday, August 22, 2009

Partridge-pea at Marion Prairie

Partridge-pea, Chamaechrista fasciculata is in full flower at the OSU Marion Campus Prairie. You'll have to look down to find this smaller scale prairie plant amongst the towering grasses, as it barely clears a foot tall. The sunny yellow flowers make it worth the search, and note the elongated pods- presumably filled with peas. A member of the Fabaceae family, it seems to be well named as it would be a food source for our native Northern Bobwhite, a pretty good facsimile of a partridge. Unfortunately they have been non-existent in this part of Ohio since the winter blizzard of 1978.

Behind the OSU Campus Marion on Route 95 on the East side of town, this lovely prairie is worth the trip, and welcomes visitors. The windmill adds just the right touch of nostaligia.

Bob Klips (third from right) teaches at OSU Marion and knows this prairie well. He made the visit a weedpicker's delight, and had Jan, Annette and Mike all sporting botany brouches of Tick-trefoil leaves before the day was over. Be sure to check out his "Bob's Mind on Botany" web pages for a real treat!

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