Sedge Season in the upper Midwest!

From Harbinger, Spring Issue 2016. Illinois Native Plant Society.


Botanist have documented almost 200 species at Hosah Park in Zion, Illinois.

Of these, 169 are natives and thirteen are endangered or threatened. Among the more common are blazing star (Liatris spp.) showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa, flowering spure (Euphorbia corollata), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). Nobody volunteers information about the location of the most endangered plants.

In 2013, the INPS”S indefatigable Linda Curtis surveyed Hosah Park’s Carex, discovering ten species that she included with the inventory of 53 species growing in the Zion beach-ridge plain that comprises IBSP, Spring Bluff, Chiwaukee Prairie, and Waukegan Harbor.

As Curtis tells it in Carex of Hosah Park (, the sand savannas at Hosah have “upland Carex species, including C. pensylvanica, C. muhlenbergii, and C. siccata in the semi-shade of the savanna trees.” The Hosah wetlands have “masses of southern cattail with red dogwood shrubs and willows along the edges” where C. pellita and C. stricta grow.

In the wet prairie between the road and foredune, Curtis found C. crawei, C. tetanica, and C. buxbaumii. She also noted C. bebbii and C. muehlenbergii in road crevices and along roads and C. brevior and C. muehlenbergii grew by the railroad right-of-way that runs along the site’s western edge.

An article in the recent Harbinger Magazine from the Illinois Native Plant Society comments that Linda Curtis found ten Carex sedges in Zion’s Hosah Park on the Lake Michigan Coast. Hosah Park was once slated for development as was  Chiwaukee Prairie. Lucky us, even if a few roads remain, they are now hiking and biking trails for all to see and enjoy.

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