NOTE: Figures only available in printed publication.
Over the last 150 years more than 99% of the midwestern tallgrass prairies were converted to homesteads, agricultural fields, cities, and highways. In recent years, however, interest in prairies has soared, since people realized the beauty of native grasses and wildflowers. Much of the charm and appeal of prairies comes from wildflowers, such as coneflowers, prairie phlox, false indigo, and orchids. The great beauty of prairie wildflowers and grasses has prompted many people to create prairie gardens in their landscapes. People find prairie gardens attractive, as do many types of birds, butterflies, and other native wildlife. Over the years, prairie gardens may take less time and expense to maintain than conventional lawns, since they reduce the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and mowing.
Even though prairies aren't native to all regions, they can be created in most areas. Prairie management includes removal of weeds and volunteer woody plants that compete with prairie plants for water, light, and space.
NEXT: What is a prairie?
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