runkel-tall

Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie

The Upper Midwest, Second Edition
Photographer(s): 
Thomas Rosburg
Foreword Author(s): 
John Madson


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2010
308 pages, 131 color photos, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
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“In wave after wave of floral successions in indigo, pale lavender, crimson, gold, cream, white, and magenta—in every tone and hue of the artist’s palette—the prairie flowers come on . . . beginning with ground-hugging pasque flowers and birdsfoot violets and climaxing with towering sunflowers. . . . All of these, and more, are carefully and lovingly treated in the following pages by Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa, a pair of long-time prairie ramblers who know the tallgrass country and the native flowers to be found there.”—from the foreword by John Madson

“This book by two of Iowa’s preeminent naturalists, Dean Roosa and the late Sylvan Runkel, is a real treasure. The excellent new photographs by Tom Rosburg complement text that provides useful descriptions, habitat information, and flowering times as well as interesting folklore or other uses of the plants. With the new format, these gems of plant information can be shared in the field, allowing us to once again ‘walk with Sy on the prairie.’”—Daryl Smith, Tallgrass Prairie Center, University of Northern Iowa

This classic of midwestern natural history is back in print with a new format and new photographs. Originally published in 1989, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie introduced many naturalists to the beauty and diversity of the native plants of the huge grasslands that once stretched from Manitoba to Texas. Now redesigned with updated names and all-new photographs, this reliable field companion will introduce tallgrass prairie wildflowers to a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts in the Upper Midwest.

Each species account is accompanied by a brilliant full-page color photograph by botanist Thomas Rosburg. In clear, straightforward, and accessible prose, authors Sylvan Runkel and Dean Roosa provide common, scientific, and family names; the Latin or Greek meaning of the scientific names; habitat and blooming times; and a complete description of plant, flower, and fruit. Particularly interesting is the information on the many ways in which Native Americans and early pioneers used these plants for everything from pain relief to dyes to hairbrushes.

Runkel and Roosa say that prairies can be among the most peaceful places on earth; certainly they are among the most beleaguered. Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie will inspire both amateurs and professionals with the desire to learn more about the wonders of the prairie landscape.

Table of contents: 

Publisher’s Note to the Second Edition
Foreword by John Madson
Preface
Acknowledgments
Disclaimer
Introduction
Pasque flower
Prairie dandelion
Wood betony
Golden alexanders
Pussytoes
Hoary puccoon
Prairie violet
Bastard toadflax
Wild strawberry
Camass
Alumroot
Kittentails
Prairie smoke
Biscuitroot
Prairie phlox
Prairie willow
American vetch
Shooting star
Wild garlic
Ground plum
Cream-colored false indigo
Lead plant
Prairie false indigo
Prairie turnip
Canada anemone
Snow-on-themountain
Yellow star-grass
Blueflag iris
Porcupine grass
Bedstraw
Indigo bush
Prairie larkspur
Blue-eyed grass
Prairie groundsel
Large-flowered beardtongue
Pale beardtongue
Locoweed
False gromwell
Wild licorice
Small white lady slipper
Four o’clock
Wild quinine
Scarlet globe mallow
Yucca
New Jersey tea
Ground cherry
Small-flowered gaura
Ten-petaled mentzelia
Stickleaf mentzelia
Skeleton weed
Bunchflower
June grass
Yellow flax
Wood lily
Spiked lobelia
Reed canary grass
Flowering spurge
Western wheat grass
Water hemlock
Poison hemlock
Prairie coreopsis
Rattlebox
Butterfly milkweed
Rattlesnake master
Queen-of-the-prairie
Wild rose
Black-eyed Susan
Nine-anther dalea
Wild petunia
Meadow sweet
Purple meadow rue
Spiderwort
Death camas
Hoary vervain
Goat’s rue
Yellow coneflower
Prickly pear
Downy painted cup
Purple coneflower
Ox-eye
Tick trefoil
Illinois bundleflower
Spotted
St. John’s–wort
Prairie cord grass
Silverleaf scurf pea
Tall cinquefoil
Purple prairie clover
White prairie clover
Swamp milkweed
Compass plant
Tuberous Indian plantain
Buffalo grass
Eastern gamagrass
Virginia wild rye
Sand reed
Eastern prairie fringed orchis
Western prairie fringed orchis
Gumweed
Canada wild rye
Blazing star
Michigan lily
Cottonweed
Maximilian sunflower
Common pearly everlasting
Partridge pea
Hedge nettle
Culver’s root
Common evening primrose
Horsemint
Virginia mountain mint
Rough blazing star
Witchgrass
Cudweed
Side oats grama grass
Roundhead lespedeza
False boneset
Ironweed
Indian grass
Prairie sage
Tall thistle
Switchgrass
Stiff goldenrod
Prairie dropseed
Prairie three awn
Big bluestem
Little bluestem
Silky aster
Marsh muhly
Reed grass
Closed gentian
Nodding ladies’ tresses
Aster
Glossary
Selected References
Index