“We have taken into our language the word prairie, because when our backwoodsmen first reached the land and saw the great natural meadows of long grass—sights unknown to the gloomy forests wherein they had always dwelt—they knew not what to call them, and borrowed the term already in use among the French inhabitants.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
A Prairie is a geologic plain covered by mostly grass, with some herbs and shrubs, but few if any trees. Most lands termed Prarie are in North America, but they are similar to the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands elsewhere in the world.
The most famous of all prairies is the Great Plains in the United States, an area that covers parts, but not all, of the states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
While there is a greater overall number of species plants found in forest and woodland areas, the diversity of plant species within a given prairie can be soaring. Over 100 species can be found in just 5 acres or even less. Though you won’t find all these plants at one given time, there is a progression throughout the growing season, and they will each show up in their time, in a sort of slow ballet of nature.