• An open vista frames two white grave stone and a flag in the distance with a white cottage in the foreground.

    Herbert Hoover

    National Historic Site Iowa

Nonnative Species

A blue bird nest box surrounded by tall grasses.

Reed canarygrass, a European invasive species, forms thick stands that crowd out native grasses in the prairie.

NPS Photo

Nonnative plants and woody vegetation continue to degrade sections of the tallgrass prairie. Land uses surrounding the prairie and the proximity of ornamental plantings contribute to invasions of exotic species. Reed canary grass and shrubs have become abundant along the creek banks and in rills of the prairie.

In areas that are diverse and well-populated with native grasses and forbs, natural competition coupled with fire management appears to be sustaining native plants. Scientific studies of the park's plant communities plus management with prescribed fire and other methods can help to control invasive and exotic species. Seed collection and redistribution after a fire may increase native plant populations. Find research reports and data »

Did You Know?

Yellow coneflowers in the lush green prairie grass.

General Land Office surveyors who first came to Iowa commented that the territory was fit only for waterfowl. Eighty-five percent of Iowa used to be soggy tallgrass prairie. More...