Southern Native Meadows

Southern Native Meadows

We specialize in fire-adapted herbaceous native meadow plants which include various bunchgrasses and perennial wildflowers. These plants provide excellent food and cover for ground nesting birds like quail and turkey, deer and animal pollinators. They serve as the natural ground cover in open forests and prairies, both wetland and upland, where they receive enough sunshine to thrive. Frequent fire is what keeps these areas open by killing back hardwoods, vines and briars. When these open areas are not burned they are often overtaken within three years and the herbaceous ground layer is shaded out. For this reason, prescribed fire is essential to the restoration of open pine forest systems. Native grasses are the backbone of this system since they provide the fine fuels for regular burning.

We grow hundreds of thousands of native grass and wildflower plugs in our nursery for the restoration of these areas. We also have many of these species in field cultivation for seed production. We offer wild-collected and field-grown seed mixes for wet or dry sites.

Our seed collections come from pristine, fire-managed conservation lands and are excellent representations of the following unique Southeastern land systems:

  • Upland Clayhills and Sandhills
  • Flatwoods
  • Shallow Wetlands

resources-regionAlthough most of it now developed or in production, these exquisite natural areas once covered the outer region of the southeastern coastal plain.

Through years of experience we’ve developed proven techniques for successfully restoring these indigenous ground covers.

By devoting a small area of land to replicating a native grass and wildflower meadow you are directly impacting local pollinator species while enjoying the scenery.

Once established these meadows are easily managed and kept beautiful by burning in late spring.

Public awareness and acceptance of controlled burning is needed. The fact that the benefits of prescribed fire outweigh the risk it poses is undisputed. Regular burning is essential to maintain the health of our forest systems as well as guard against wildfire by reducing fuels.

Safe burning techniques and the response of pollinators can be easily demonstrated with these meadows.

Within two weeks the burned area transforms as these fire adapted plants explode with new growth.

Southeastern Upland Species:

Scientific NameCommon Name
Sandhill Wiregrass Mixed Plugs
Andropogon ternarius
Splitbeard bluestem
Aristida stricta
Coreopsis lanceolataLanceleaf coreopsis
Dalea pinnataSummer farewell
Eragrostis spectabilis
Purple lovegrass
Lespedeza stueveiTall Lespedeza
Lespedeza hirta Hairy Lespedeza/Hairy bush clover
Liatris gracilis Slender Gayfeather/Slender blazing star
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass
Pityopsis graminifoliaSilver leaf aster/Narrowleaf silkgrass
Salvia azureaAzure blue sage
Schizachyrium scoparium
Little bluestem
Sida acutaSweet Tea
Solidago odoraAnise scented goldenrod/Sweet goldenrod
Sorghastrum nutansYellow indiangrass
Sorghastrum secundum
Lopsided indiangrass
Sporobolus juncaeus
Pineywoods dropseed

Southeastern Flatwoods and Wet Prairie:

Scientific NameCommon Name
Flatwoods Wiregrass Mixed Plugs
Andropogon glomeratus var. glaucopsis Purple bluesteam
Andropogon glomeratusBushy bluestem
Aristida strictaWiregrass
Carphephorus carnosus
Pineland Chaffhead
Carphephorus paniculatus
Hairy Chaffhead
Ctenium aromaticumToothache grass
Eragrostis elliotii Elliot’s lovegrass
Helianthus angustfolius
Helianthus angustfolius
Lespedeza capitata
Roundhead Lespedeza
Liatris gracilis Slender Gayfeather/Slender blazing star
Liatris spicata
Blazing Star/Dense blazing star
Muhlenbergia capillarisMuhly grass
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass
Saccharum giganteumSugarcane Plumegrass
Sida acuta
Sweet Tea