Plants of the Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savannas

Lavender and yellow flowers border a trail that skirts the forest.
A path skirts the edge of the savanna at Coldwater Spring.

NPS/Gordon Dietzman


Prairies are plant communities dominated by the grasses. However, they also preserve a large diversity of wildflowers, butterflies, and birds. The flowering season begins in early spring, sometimes before the last snowfall, and doesn't end until killing frosts of late autumn. These characteristics make prairies and savannas favorite destinations for hikers, birders, and wildflower enthusiasts.

Trees and Shrubs

Bur Oak


Big Bluestem
Blue Joint Grass
Canada Wild Rye
Hairy Grama
Indian Grass
June Grass
Prairie Cordgrass
Prairie Dropseed
Sideoats Grama
Slender Wheatgrass


Aster spp.
Blue Vervain
Black-eyed Susan
Butterfly Weed
Culver's Root
Golden Alexander
New England Aster
Nodding Wild Onion
Pasque Flower
Prairie Blazingstar
Prairie Spiderwort
Purple Coneflower
Purple Prairie Clover
Stiff Goldenrod
Wild Bergamont
Yellow Coneflower

Invasive Species

Black Locust
Canada Thistle
Smooth Brome Grass
Spotted Knapweed
Eastern Redcedar

Explore the plants of other plant communities

Visit a Restored Prairie

Cenaiko Lake, Etter Creek, Sixth Avenue Greenway, City of Hastings, Coldwater Spring (NPS)

Visit a Natural Prairie

Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area, Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area

Visit a Savanna

Longfellow, Coldwater Spring

Last updated: March 6, 2018

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