“a beautiful wet prairie dominated by sedges & rushes”
A wet prairie dominated by sedges and rushes, habitat for migrating songbirds and waterfowl. The core of this preserve is a treeless, wet sedge meadow dominated by several species of sedges, rushes and wetland grasses. It is the finest remaining sedge meadow in the state. The preserve is actually comprised of a mosaic of distinctive plant communities based on variations in water table levels. Tall grass wet prairie communities dominated by big bluestem and spiked blazing-star; sedge meadow dominated by twig-rush; shrub swamp dominated by shrubby species of dogwoods and willows; grass meadow dominated by blue-joint grass and northern reed-grass; and swamp forest dominated by pin oak and cottonwood, are all represented. More than 26 state-listed species of plants occur here including red baneberry, Sartwell's sedge, fringed gentian, Kalm's St. John's-wort, Riddell's goldenrod and grass-leaf arrowhead. Rare animals sighted at Irwin Prairie include sedge wrens, Bell's vireo, least bittern, golden-winged warbler, spotted and blandings turtles and the purplish copper butterfly.
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Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve
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