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The Plant that Gives You Three Fingers! Plant of the Week #9 for June 24th.

Coreopsis palmata, also known as prairie coreopsis or tickseed, is currently blooming on the prairies of Hixon and surrounding bluffs, adding a burst of yellow to the landscape. This plant, as well as others, take the stage before the tall warm season grasses and goldenrods grow potentially concealing them and other smaller plants.

This hardy plant, recognized for its ability to withstand drought, thrives in high-quality natural habitats, forming patches that expand into colonies through rhizomes. The genus name, coreopsis, is derived from the seed's resemblance to bed bugs, while another common name, "tickseed," comes from the seed's similarity to a tick. The species name, palmata, describes the leaf arrangement, which looks like three fingers...with the middle finger being the most prominent! Perhaps coreopsis is a little bit feisty!

Thanks to the work of many, prairie coreopsis, along with many other prairie plants and insects, can now be appreciated by hikers on Birch Trail above Zoerb Prairie as the trail winds through the restored and expanded prairie. Friends of the Blufflands has brought the prairie to you! Hopefully, you can now admire the plants and insects of the prairie without needing to venture onto the prairie itself potentially causing damage to the growing plants.

Prairie coreopsis plays its role in supporting insect populations by offering nectar and pollen, and its seeds serve as a food source for several bird species. You may have noticed the insect in the photo above getting a meal. Maybe a type of drone fly? Here it is enlarged:

As many know, insect populations are in decline and need our help. One of the best ways to provide this help is to increase the amount of habitat they call home. Friends hopes to continue to pursue this goal and thanks everyone for their support.

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