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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cedar Glade Flowers, Part 2








Just A Bit About Glades:

Glades are naturally occurring treeless ecosystems with exposed limestone and shallow soils. In other words, extreme geological conditions that make for extreme growing conditions. Imagine trying to grow plants on cracked concrete! When it's wet it's very wet and when it's dry it's very dry. Some plants have adapted to these conditions and are only found growing there. We can attempt to duplicate glady conditions with some success; I have Tennessee Coneflower, Rose Verbena, False Garlic and Shooting Star growing in my garden, but the other endemics have adapted to extreme conditions and most of our gardens are just too cushy for them.

You won't find many glades or glady areas outside of Middle Tennessee. But you might find barrens or other areas that have been cleared of trees by early native people. They have a very different ecosystems then glades. For a barren to remain barren, you would have to periodically burn the trees and shrubs. Barrens have deeper soils and are subject to plant succession. A glade's extreme conditions don't invite pioneer trees to grow. No trees it's a glade. Trees, it's the adjacent forest.

Imagine early pioneers discovering a glady area...surrounded by a Red Cedar-Hardwood Forrest. The forest trees would be felled and used for building homes. If it were a large enough area it would be farmed. The glade would be viewed as wasteland; not fertile so worthless to a family; good only for dumping trash.

Unfortunately, this viewpoint continued well into the 20Th century. It wasn't until botanists like Elsie Quarterman realized the uniqueness of the cedar glade that anything was done to protect them.

Today, we have about 11 protected cedar glade natural areas within the Central Basin of Tennessee. Couchville Cedar Glade is one of them. It is known for being the home to the largest population of Tennessee Coneflower. Tennessee coneflower is my favorite coneflower. It is a hardy guy...

Endemic Flowering Plants:

Tennessee Coneflower...greening up for his big summer to fall show!

Verbena, isn't it lovely!

One of the alliums, either A canadense or cernuum...although, it isn't nodding.

Sedum pulchellum in bloom with a palmate leaf of Nashville Breadroot.

Nashville Breadroot (Pediomelum subacaule)...a member of the pea family.


One of the cryptogams or spore producing plants. Fabulous looking isn't it?

False Garlic ( Nothoscordum bivalve) and Breadroot



Opuntia with Breadroot and Glade Sandwort

Hyposus hirsuta ...Yellow Stargrass?

A blooming sedge, I can't begin to identify them!


Southern Ragwort (Senecio smallii)

I love this Yellow Flowered Whatever! Missouri Evening Primrose? Any guesses?

Bluet, but I don't think it's Glade Bluet, it was growing very near the park entrance and may be one of the many Bluets that are found growing in Tennessee.

Leavenworthia stylosa or Long Styled Glade Cress. A late winter blooming annual found in the Cedar Glades.

The glade is really greening up and there will be more blooms in May but there is one more part to this series! See you tomorrow,

Gail

25 comments:

  1. It truly is amazing all those pretty flowers can grow there and will look forward to see what else tomorrow.

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  2. Jean, It is isn't it. Amazing!

    Gail

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  3. It looks like a great place to visit! Thanks for sharing it.

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  4. There are some glady places in Alabama...don't ask me where! It is a very different place isn't it?

    Gail

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  5. The plants of the glade are such a different assortment. That crypotgam thingy looks like a coral. I had a Yellow Star grass bloom last year, but I haven't seen any sign of it yet this year.

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  6. These are all so beautiful -- I can't wait until things really start to bloom here. :)

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  7. I love your glade posts. Informative and serene at the same time. There is always a surprise somewhere along the walk isn't there?

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  8. Thanks for the photos and information about the glade. I find niche ecosystems like these fascinating. It's amazing what a delicate balance they achieve and how easily that balance can be destroyed.

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  9. Don't you just love the variation that occurs in nature? It's so wonderful, no wonder we try to make our gardens contain such a wide array of plants.

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  10. mmd, They sure are different looking. The cryptogam were blowing about...I wish I knew more about them.

    Nancy,I am looking forward to seeing what NS looks like in the spring, too!


    Gail

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  11. layanee, It really comes through how much I love the glade! So I am always excited that someone enjoys a walk through with me! Yes, there is always a surprise...I imagine we all have special places like this one is for me.

    Gail

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  12. northern shade,

    Welcome to clay and limestone...where do you garden? Yes niche systems are wonderful with a lot to teach us about our world and our responsibilities.

    Gail

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  13. cinj, Yes that is well put...(and I am addicted to plants!) How's the house sale going?

    Gail

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  14. gail: I just caught up on yesterday and today's post. So very interesting. Great info about the glades I've never even thought of before. We have so many ecosystems here in Florida with all the water but to think of the different systems all over the world... and all are essential to our well being. I'm amazed at all the blooms... thanks so much for sharing this with us. I'm looking forward to your next post. Well done!
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

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  15. I have enjoyed these posts. I believe I might have a bit of a glade on my own property. Usually there is not much growing. There is lots of exposed rock, and it always stays under water for a day or so after a rain. For the most part I tend to not appreciate it much - I prefer the woods. But it does have liatris in the summer which is great. I'll have to walk over and see what's there now.

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  16. Hi Gail, you are doing such a good job educating and entertaining us at the same time. I have a cryptogam that was picked up along the side of the road planted in one of the troughs, I had no idea what it was. The coneflower needs to be added to my garden too, I will look for it at the plant sales in Knoxville coming up.I planted Allium cernum last fall, they are up but no blooms yet. Thanks for this.

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  17. tina,

    I was wondering were you were, you must be really busy. How did the final go? The glades are interesting places.

    Gail

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  18. meems,

    Thank you, I have enjoyed reporting from the the Glade! It is a fragile environment for all its harsh conditions. I have been to the Everglades...but there is so much more to see.

    Gail

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  19. Bill, Then you might want to try the Tennessee Coneflower! I love the woodland gardens and forests, too. I was fascinated with glades when I realized I had so many glady conditions and glade plants on my property. Glad you enjoyed the series.

    gail

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  20. Frances,
    Nodding onion how lovely, please post photos! TN Coneflower needs moisture to establish but after that it is a harder guy...sharper drainage helps.

    I am glad you liked the series...I don't want to lecture; it's a thin line to walk....and I do want people to get excited about these fragile ecosystems.

    Thanks,

    Gail

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  21. Gail, so many lovely flowers in your glade post. You have me looking at things a whole new way now. Yesterday I checked out everything I could find in my little woods just to see if there were some native wildflowers there.

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  22. Not so well I'm afraid. We did have another showing yesterday. I sure hope something happens soon!

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  23. melanie, I love finding surprises left by nature...did you find any wildflowers...I would send you some but I don't think they would survive!

    Gail

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  24. cinj,

    maybe soon now that winter is gone your house will shine.

    Gail

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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