Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM CDT
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May Prairie Natural Area 
Asbury Rd.
Manchester, TN 37355

Driving Directions 


Bill Moll 
Wild Ones - Tennessee Valley Chapter 
(423) 702-5779 

May Prairie and AEDC Meadow Walk 

Pre-registration is required.

The “Oak Barrens” of Coffee County provide examples of TN rare plants that are disjunct from the Gulf Coastal Plain and the prairies of the Midwest.  In addition, May Prairie has many species common to the Midwest tall grass prairie that are unusual in the Southeast.

In late summer, many species of sunflower are common with the rare southern dock (Silphium pinnatifidum) and two species of blazing star (Liatris spicata and L. microcephala) prominently flowering. May Prairie is one of the State's most floristically diverse natural areas with 25 of its more than 300 plant species that occur here considered rare in Tennessee.

May Prairie was discovered during a botany foray in 1947 by Dr. A. J. Sharp and colleagues from the University of Tennessee while stopping for lunch at the Prairie Café. They were told that a prairie could be found behind the restaurant.

Management goals at May Prairie include restoring hydrology (including the prairie tributary) where draining for agriculture had occurred, and controlling the woody vegetation encroachment. Prescribed burning is a management tool used in the open grassland and in the oak barrens here. There are a large number of acres of restorable oak barrens associated with the natural area.

Arnold AFB (AEDC) has rare orchids in its power line.

Easy to moderate walking in low vegetation. Facilities at meeting place. Bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, and camera. Lunch in car or on trail.

The walk will be led by Dennis Horn, co-author of “Wildflowers of Tennessee.”  Dennis is an engineer, naturalist, amateur botanist and wildflower photographer.  He is a charter member of the Tennessee Native Plant Society. Dennis has travelled from the Mississippi River to the Blue Ridge Mountains studying and photographing Tennessee wildflowers, and he has presented numerous wildflower slide programs for garden clubs, civic groups and plant conferences.

This program is free and open to Wild Ones members.

Limit: 15 participants.

Driving directions and program details will be provided upon registration.