Fall Spirit at the Prairie

Earlier this fall, we strolled the path to the top of Spirit Mound. This site is documented by the Lewis and Clark expedition in their Corps of Discovery up the Missouri River. They left their boats and trekked about five miles north on land to see the vista from this spot that they had heard about.


We’re here to enjoy the native plants’ restoration of the Spirit Mound Historic Prairie. The public park is about five miles north of Vermillion, South Dakota. Extra moisture this growing season and the work of the Spirit Mound Trust and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, shows in the abundant wildflowers and native grasses.

Asters and other forbs welcome pollinators and other wildlife to their prairie.


Big bluestem native grasses behind the flowers are over six feet tall. In normal moisture years, they grow to about four feet in height. This area is on the western edge of the tallgrass prairie of the Northern Plains, with the shorter little bluestem and other mid-height grasses more dominant.


Foliage is dense along this path with the extra moisture of the growing season. Maximilian sunflowers usually grow about six feet tall or so here with less volume of foliage.


Sunny faces of the sunflowers welcome all trekkers to enjoy the native plants. Look under State Parks for more about Spirit Mound Historic Prairie. www.gfp.sd.gov or the Spirit Mound Historic Prairie Facebook page.


Thank you for visiting Plant Exchange Blog. As this year ends, we hope for peace, we plan to practice more kindness, and we wish for flowers for all.






One thought on “Fall Spirit at the Prairie

  1. The sunflowers of the first picture are exemplary. So much of the flora there is endemic to a big part of North America, but not in the West. It is fascinating to see that some species at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains extend their range to the East Coast, as if the Appalachian Mountains are not even there. Flora of the West lives in such narrow (east to west) ranges.

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