||From mayapples in a woodland glade in Douglas
County to Indian blanket along the roadsides of Meade County, Kansas offers
an endless list of worthy destinations for botanizing throughout the growing
season. The Natural Kansas website lists over 100 of these
destinations. If you are looking for new places to go this year, start
here to make your plans!
Winter is a good time to get out the field guides and page through them to refamiliarize yourself with the wide variety of flora available in Kansas. Re-reading the text entries will often yield surprising flashes of insight based on the experiences you had since you last read them.
Of course, one can never have enough field guides! Don't limit your bookshelf to the "Kansas-only" books. Often you will find species from Kansas in the field guides from neighboring states and other species that are not be listed in Kansas books that are also found here. Every author brings a different suite of experiences to what they write, and different books may have different features of a species illustrated as well, so these too can provide you with valuable knowledge. You can find a list of books on Kansas wildflowers and other natural history topics here.
Want a real identification challenge? Try finding your favorite species in winter! See if you can use the seed pods and vegetative structures to recognize a species. This is a great way to broaden your familiarity with a plant. There was a 1984 book useful for this purpose called "Pods: Wildflowers and Weeds in Their Final Beauty" written by Jane Emberton that is currently out of print (and really deserves a second edition), but you may be able to locate a used copy online or through your local bookstore.
For a look online at what Kansas has to offer throughout the year, visit these web sites:
Southwest Kansas Wildflowers
- featuring the photos of Fred Meyer Jr.
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to