Blue Flowers in the Ditches

We have a long history of habitat modification due to intensive farming here in Iowa.  One consequence of that is the lack of much of our native plants.  The roadside ditches essentially  became monocultures of grass that requires frequent mowing.

A few years ago some people at one of our Universities decided to change the approach to the management of the right-of-ways alongside public highways.  They introduced a concept called “Integrated Roadside Management”, which re-introduced plants from the prairies back into roadside ditches.   They created a political structure to get the project started, and the County that I live in has used the concept on our roadways.

As a result, we have some of this lovely blue flower in our ditch.

6-8-130003The flower is the large-flowered beardtongue, Penstemon grandiflorus.  It is native to Iowa, although it is a little more common about 50 miles to the west of here.  I am sure it is in the ditch because of the integrated roadside management program, and not part of a prairie remnant.

6-8-130007

Still, I am glad it is here.  It is a very nice flower.

 

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About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in plants, rural scenics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Blue Flowers in the Ditches

  1. theresagreen says:

    It is indeed a beautiful flower.

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