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Western Silvery Aster Podcast: Extras
Images courtesy of Ari Daniel Shapiro and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Other insect visitors to asters include the white and sulphur butterflies.
Mammals that graze on aster include groundhogs and rabbits. These short, spreading plants don’t usually attract deer.
Many of the wildflowers on the tall-grass prairie are forbs, short for Euphorbiaceae, a group of broad-leaved herbs other than grasses. Familiar members of the Euphorbiaceae include sunflowers and milkweed.
The prairie system is maintained by cycles of animal grazing and natural fire. In the Tallgrass Prairie Natural Preserve in the Flint Hills of Kansas, managers are reintroducing bison and a program of prescribed burns to restore the tallgrass ecosystem to its former health.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a remnant of tallgrass prairie, there may be opportunities to volunteer in prairie restoration efforts. Here’s one, gathering native prairie seeds.