Wildflower Events in Kansas
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Penstemon grandiflorus
Shell-leaf Penstemon
Photo by Jim Mason

From mayapples in a woodland glade in Douglas County to Indian blanket along the roadsides of Meade County, Kansas offers an endless list of worthy destinations for botanizing throughout the growing season.  The Natural Kansas website lists over 100 of these destinations.  If you are looking for new places to go this year, start here to make your plans!

2012 WILDFLOWER EVENT CALENDAR
August  September  October

Kansas Wildflower Links

 

 



Enjoy the beauty of the fall prairie wildflowers in this
video from Mike Blair of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks!
For more videos from this series, see the KDWP website.
 

Winter is a good time to get out the field guides and page through them to refamiliarize yourself with the wide variety of flora available in Kansas.  Re-reading the text entries will often yield surprising flashes of insight based on the experiences you had since you last read them.

Of course, one can never have enough field guides!  Don't limit your bookshelf to the "Kansas-only" books.  Often you will find species from Kansas in the field guides from neighboring states and other species that are not be listed in Kansas books that are also found here.  Every author brings a different suite of experiences to what they write, and different books may have different features of a species illustrated as well, so these too can provide you with valuable knowledge.  You can find a list of books on Kansas wildflowers and other natural history topics here.

Want a real identification challenge?  Try finding your favorite species in winter!  See if you can use the seed pods and vegetative structures to recognize a species.  This is a great way to broaden your familiarity with a plant.  There was a 1984 book useful for this purpose called "Pods: Wildflowers and Weeds in Their Final Beauty" written by Jane Emberton that is currently out of print (and really deserves a second edition), but you may be able to locate a used copy online or through your local bookstore.

Think Spring!

2012 Wildflower Programs and Outings

AUGUST

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August 18 @ 8-10am: Chase County Tallgrass Prairie Walk
A walk on the tallgrass prairie in the heart of the Flint Hills at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve will be held once a month from May to October. We will meet at the Bottomland Trailhead which is about 2 miles south of the headquarters. Take the dirt road at the cemetery on the east side of hwy 177 about 2 miles south of the Preserve HQ buildings. This will be a leisurely informal walk to enjoy the wonders of the prairie and identify native flora. Glenn Fell will be the official "guide" but everyone's knowledge will be called upon for an informal and fun experience. This is a KNPS Emporia Region event. Please RSVP Glenn if you plan to attend.
Contact: Glenn Fell 620-794-8478

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August 18 @ 9am-11: Wild Edible Plant Walk
Discover some of nature�s natural bounty during this event at the Chaplin Nature Center. Participants will hike along the trails and identify some of the more common edible and poisonous plants. Call the Nature Center at(620)442-4133 to make reservations.
Contact: Shawn Silliman 620-442-4133

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August 18: Volunteers are needed for prairie maintenance and preservation projects. The Grassland Heritage Foundation Groundhogs meet on the third Saturday of every month except December. Wear appropriate clothing. No special skills or tools needed.
For details, please contact Frank Norman, Kansas Native Plant Society Board Member fjnorman@sunflower.com or (785) 887-6775 (home) or (785) 691-9748 (cell).

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August 29 @ 12:15-1pm: Kansas Wildflowers Presentation at Botanica, 801 N. Amidon in Wichita
Join the Lunchtime Lecture series for a wildflower photo show of Kansas native plants. We will appreciate the beauty of the flowers and also learn interesting facts about the plants and how to recognize plant families. A catered lunch is available or bring your own.
Contact: Krista Dahlinger 316-258-6341

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SEPTEMBER

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September 7-10: FloraKansas Great Plains Plant Bazaar. Sponsored by Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Hesston, KS. 
Contact: arboretum@Hesston.edu or (620) 327-8127

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September 8 @ 10am-noon: Tuttle Creek Lake Fall Wildflower Walk
Tuttle Creek Lake Visitor�s Center � 5020 Tuttle Creek Blvd � Manhattan
Plan to be a part of the fall wildflower walk at Tuttle Creek Lake, led by KNPS guides. This is an opportunity to see and learn about the fall flowers of the Flint Hills such as: boneset, tall thistle; curly cup gumweed, liatris (gayfeather); several different species of sunflowers and also goldenrods and native asters. Each participant will receive a free copy of A Pocket Guide to Kansas Flint Hills Wildflowers and Grasses to use during the hike and then take home. So we will know how many to expect for the outing, please pre-register with UFM Community Learning Center 785 (539-8763) or info@tryufm.org.  There is no registration fee.
Contact: Paul Weidhaas 785-539-8511

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September 15 @ 8-10am: Chase County Tallgrass Prairie Walk at the Tallgrass Prairie National PreserveA walk on the tallgrass prairie in the heart of the Flint Hills at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve will be held once a month from May to October. We will meet at the Bottomland Trailhead which is about 2 miles south of the headquarters. Take the dirt road at the cemetery on the east side of hwy 177 about 2 miles south of the Preserve HQ buildings. This will be a leisurely informal walk to enjoy the wonders of the prairie and identify native flora. Glenn Fell will be the official "guide" but everyone's knowledge will be called upon for an informal and fun experience. This is a KNPS Emporia Region event. Please RSVP Glenn if you plan to attend.
Contact: Glenn Fell 620 794 8478

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September 15: Volunteers are needed for prairie maintenance and preservation projects. The Grassland Heritage Foundation Groundhogs meet on the third Saturday of every month except December. Wear appropriate clothing. No special skills or tools needed.
For details, please contact Frank Norman, Kansas Native Plant Society Board Member fjnorman@sunflower.com or (785) 887-6775 (home) or (785) 691-9748 (cell).

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September 21 to 23: 34th Annual Wildflower Weekend at Southwestern College in Winfield.
This is the annual meeting of the Kansas Native Plant Society. This year's Wildflower Weekend will be held in and around Winfield Kansas, in the southern Flint Hills. See the KNPS website for more details. http://www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org/aww_2012.php

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OCTOBER

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October 20: Volunteers are needed for prairie maintenance and preservation projects. The Grassland Heritage Foundation Groundhogs meet on the third Saturday of every month except December. Wear appropriate clothing. No special skills or tools needed.
For details, please contact Frank Norman, Kansas Native Plant Society Board Member fjnorman@sunflower.com or (785) 887-6775 (home) or (785) 691-9748 (cell).

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For a look online at what Kansas has to offer throughout the year, visit these web sites:

Southwest Kansas Wildflowers - featuring the photos of Fred Meyer Jr.
Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas - by Mike Haddock
The LUNA website has photos of 196 different native wildflowers by Craig Freeman
Learn about Flint Hills Wildflowers and Grasses in The Meadow from the Great Plains Nature Center

bulletIf you are not already a member, consider joining the Kansas Native Plant Society.   The mission of the Kansas Native Plant Society is to encourage awareness and appreciation of the native plants of Kansas in their habitats and in our landscapes by promoting education, stewardship, and scientific knowledge.
The KNPS has developed several regional groups within the state.  Here are their Facebook pages:
bulletThe Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Website has a lot of information on North American wildflowers.
bulletThe Grassland Heritage Foundation seeks to preserve native prairie lands in northeast Kansas.
bulletUse the USDA PLANTS database to get information on any plant in North America.
bulletJeff Hansen has a website on wildflower propagation at KansasNativePlants.com

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Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism