The purpose of this paper is to describe one of the few remaining tracts of virgin prairie in eastern Iowa. The Committee on Conservation of the Iowa Academy of Science, particularly in the reports of Dr. Ada Hayden (1945, 1946), has urged the preservation of native Iowa grasslands in order that they may serve as natural out-of-doors laboratories for the study of ecological and taxonomic problems. A flora of the kind presented here may be of value when compared to grasslands in the eastern and western states: It may help determine the effect of environmental forces which vary in different longitudes. Comparisons with other prairie floras in the same region-the "oak-openings" and "sand prairies" within a few miles of Pine Hill-may reveal the importance of soil, microclimates, and biotic influences. No two prairie tracts seem to be the same. The species of herbs and forbs may be different and in each tract abundance of the dominant forms changes. But the best reason for presenting a list of the plants of the Pinc Hill Prairie is this: before many more years those few acres of grass, with their accompanying brilliant flowers, will be destroyed. This prairie is too valuable to lie fallow. Destruction of this remnant will also be the destruction of a part of the area's history. The incomplete record presented here may enable future generations to reconstruct, even if only in imagination, the scenes their pioneer ancestors looked upon.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1956 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
"The Flora of the Pine Hill Prairie Relict,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 63(1), 201-213.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol63/iss1/14