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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:

Aristida strictaWiregrass
Schizachyrium scopariumLittle bluestem
Sorghastrum secundumLopsided indiangrass
Eragrostis spectabilisPurple lovegrass
Andropogon ternariusSplitbeard bluestem
Liatris gracilisSlender blazing star
Salvia azureaAzure blue sage
Solidago odoraAnise scented goldenrod
Dalea pinnataSummer farewell
Coreopsis lanceolataLanceleaf coreopsis
Lespedeza hirtaHairy bush clover
Pityopsis graminifoliaSilver leaf aster

Southeastern Flatwoods and Wet Prairie:

Aristida strictaWiregrass
Ctenium aromaticum Toothache grass
Andropogon glomeratus var. glaucopsis Purple bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus Bushy bluestem
Eragrostis elliotii Elliot’s lovegrass
Saccarhum giganteum Sugarcane plumegrass
Spartina bakerii Sand cordgrass
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass
Muhlenbergia capillaris Muhly grass
Liatris spicata Dense blazing star
Helianthus angustfolius Swamp sunflower
Eupatorium fistulosum Joe pye weed
Sida ulmifolia Common fanpetals