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The oak savanna: an update from Yaffa Grossman

June 2, 2013

The cool wet spring has promoted lots of plant growth on the hillside south of the Science Center, according to Professor of Biology Yaffa Grossman. Below, she describes how the campus oak savanna will transform in upcoming days and weeks, and an explanation of some of the maintenance performed in that area.

"In the next few days, we can expect to see native yellow lanceleaf coreopsis and white smooth penstemon begin to bloom, alongside the non-native white yarrow and yellow cinquefoil that 'came along for the ride' when the soil was initially spread.They’ll join the Kentucky bluegrass and other grasses that are blooming now.  Later in the season, we’ll see purple coneflower, lavender hyssop, Canada milk vetch, black-eyed Susan, and other flowers. 

Are you wondering why the area south of the greenhouse was cut last week? Several aggressive grass species that arrived with the soil in that area kept the native seeds from germinating. The grass was cut to prevent it from flowering and going to seed. With time, additional steps will be taken to enhance the diversity of this area. 

If you are interested in learning more about the oak savanna and seeing a display of the flowers in bloom during reunion weekend, come to the Botany lab in Science Center 147 on Saturday, June 15, from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m."

You may also contact Professor Grossman for additional information about the Science Center oak savanna, if interested.