Butler Prairie

The Butler University Prairie was established in 1987 by the Holcomb Research Institute and Butler University. Located between the Indianapolis Water Company Canal and the White River, the prairie serves as an outdoor laboratory for Butler ecology courses, as a public educational resource, and as a natural area for birds and wildlife.

This is a fine place to visit in conjunction with Butler Basins, which are located at the northeast corner of campus; look for lots and lots of wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) in August.

More information from Butler

Butler Basins

Installed in 2007, two stormwater detention basins north of Butler Bowl handle runoff from the northeast corner of campus. Permeable basin floors regulate infiltration of rainwater back into the aquifer, diverting it from local city storm sewers.

The banks and floors of the basins are planted in native perennials based on their relationship to water levels during storm events. Used also as a botanical study area, the plant list at the basins is incredibly diverse, and species are grouped to maximize plant community interaction.

Kevin Tungesvick of Spence Restoration Nursery collaborated with RATIO Architects to design and specify the plant palette for this installation.

Included below is a schematic drawing of the installation along with the proposed plant lists (downloadable as an Excel file). Used together, these tool enable one to do a fair amount of botanizing in this small space.

Plants at the basin floors have not thrived well, and some unwelcome guests have shown up along the banks, but overall this area still remains a great place to observe native perennials throughout the year.

Layout

Click on diagram to enlarge

 

Plant Lists

   
Quantity Bottom of Basin
735 Asclepias incarnata (Marsh Milkweed)
147 Calamagrostis canadensis (Blue-joint Grass)
686 Carex frankii (Frank’s Sedge)
1127 Carex emoryi (Riverbank Tussock Sedge )
735 Carex vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)
294 Hibiscus palustris (Swamp Rose Mallow)
490 Iris virginica shrevei (Blue Flag)
882 Scirpus cyperinus (Woolgrass)
882 Scirpus pendulus (Reddish Bulrush)
196 Spartina pectinata (Prairie Cordgrass)
6174  
   
  Lower Slopes 
  Mix 1
392 Carex vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)
196 Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue)
196 Helenium autumnale (Autumn Sneezeweed)
   
  Mix 2 
392 Carex normalis (Spreading Oval Sedge)
196 Silphium terebinthinaceum (Prairie Dock)
196 Sorghastrum nutans (Indian Grass)
   
  Mix 3
196 Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue)
392 Carex annectans xanthocarpa (Yellow Fox Sedge)
196 Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
   
  Mix 4
98 Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders)
392 Carex vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)
294 Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
   
  Mix 5 
196 Chelone obliqua (Pink Turtlehead)
196 Silphium integrifolium (Rosinweed)
392 Carex vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)
   
  Mix 6
294 Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
392 Carex annectans xanthocarpa (Yellow Fox Sedge)
98 Solidago riddellii (Riddell’s Goldenrod)
   
  Mix 7
392 Elymus virginicus (Virginia Wild Rye)
196 Mimulus ringens (Monkeyflower)
196 Vernonia fasciculata (Smooth Ironweed)
   
  Mix 8
392 Carex annectans xanthocarpa (Yellow Fox Sedge)
196 Rudbeckia subtomentosa (Sweet Black-Eyed Susan)
196 Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem)
   
  Mix 9
392 Carex vulpinoidea (Fox Sedge)
196 Cassia hebecarpa (Wild Senna)
196 Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)
   
  Mix 10
392 Carex annectans xanthocarpa (Yellow Fox Sedge)
196 Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
196 Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue)
   
  Mix 11 
196 Senecio aureus (Golden Ragwort)
392 Carex annectans xanthocarpa (Yellow Fox Sedge)
196 Solidago rugosa (Wrinkled Goldenrod)
   
  Upper Slopes
  Mix 1 – Short stature
392 Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
196 Aster ericoides (Heath Aster)
196 Coreopsis palmata (Plains Coreopsis)
   
  Mix-2 Short stature
392 Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
98 Solidago nemoralis (Gray Goldenrod)
294 Allium cernuum (Nodding Wild Onion)
   
  Mix 3 – Short stature
392 Bouteloua curtipendula (Side-Oats Grama)
196 Carex muhlenbergii (Sand Bracted Sedge) 
196 Petalostemum purpureum (Purple Prairie Clover)
   
  Mix 4 – Short stature
392 Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
49 Silene regia (Royal Catchfly)
343 Aster ericoides (Heath Aster)
   
  Mix 5 – Short stature
196 Carex muhlenbergii (Sand Bracted Sedge) 
196 Liatris aspera (Rough Blazing Star)
392 Bouteloua curtipendula (Side-Oats Grama)
   
  Mix 6 – Short stature
196 Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
392 Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) 
196 Aster laevis (Smooth Aster)
   
  Mix 7 – Short stature
392 Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) 
196 Liatris scariosa var nieuwlandii (Savanna Blazing Star)
196 Coreopsis palmata (Plains Coreopsis)
   
  Mix 8 – Medium stature
392 Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) 
392 Helianthus occidentalis (Western Sunflower)
   
  Mix 9 – Medium stature
392 Sorghastrum nutans (Indian Grass)
196 Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
196 Ratibida pinnata (Yellow Coneflower)
   
  Mix 10 – Medium stature
392 Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)
196 Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master)
196 Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower)
   
  Mix 11 – Medium stature
196 Rudbeckia subtomentosa (Sweet Black-Eyed Susan)
392 Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) 
196 Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders)
   
  Mix 12 – Medium stature
196 Monarda fistulosa (Bergamot)
392 Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)
196 Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
   
  Mix 13 – Medium stature
196 Pycnanthemum virginianum (Mountain Mint)
392 Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) 
196 Aster laevis (Smooth Aster)
   
  Mix 14 – Medium stature
392 Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
196 Aster azureus (Sky Blue Aster)
196 Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (Narrowleaf Mountain Mint)
 

 

Download as an Excel file: Butler Basins plant lists 

The form you are trying to view does not have Embedded display type.