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Friday, December 5, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Book to Indentify Common Grasses

Readers of the new book, “Field Guide to the Common Grasses of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska” by KNPS board member, Iralee Barnard, will expand their knowledge and identification skills to the beautiful array of this important adaptive grass family.

Iralee adds a blend of ecological and cultural contextual information with her identification steps so the novice and expert alike will not only be able to recognize and identify the grasses so abundant in our natural landscape but to do so with an interesting diversity of complimentary information about each grass species.

Only two of every ten species of the heartland’s 3,000 species of wild plants are grasses yet these grasses can account for 90% of the ground cover.  Seventy of the most common grass species are included with 415 color photographs revealing details not found in previous grass identification field guides.

Iralee’s artistic ability coupled with her extensive botanist background has influenced this unique field guide format.  Clear descriptions, a “finding list” system using flowering heads, leaf details with size comparisons and whole mature plant color pictures help the reader systematically walk through the identification process.

An Illustrated glossary, leaf comparison sections and table of grass flowering dates provide additional information for recognizing and identification. Descriptions focus on the primary characteristics of each species and are accompanied by distribution maps.

Iralee exemplifies KNPS members by her book dedication remarks,
This book is dedicated to all who love the outdoors and learning. May your path be interesting and filled with pleasure in all seasons.

Treat yourself to a field companion you will not want to be without. Now available in local and online book suppliers. ISBN 978-0-7006-1945-0 University Press of Kansas, 2014.

Photo Album of Western Kansas Field Trips

On May 3-4, KNPS members enjoyed three field trips in the far western part of the state.  At least 37 flowering species were seen at the Smoky Valley Ranch, Lake Scott, and Monument Rocks. There were so many unique plants that are adapted to the arid conditions of western Kansas. Be sure to check out KNPS's Garden City Regional Leader, Anthony Zukoff, photo album: Spring Board Meeting Field Trips.  Each image in the album has an informative caption associated with it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Titles Added to Recommended Books List

We have added more titles to our list of Recommended Books. All new listings are indicated. Find nature related subjects such as field guides, prairie, and wildlife.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Special Outings on May 3rd & 4th in Western Kansas Announced

The Kansas Native Plant Society board of Directors holds quarterly meetings in various parts of the state.  For the past several years, board members have expressed a desire to visit western portions of the state.  Due to continuing drought conditions in that area, holding our fall Annual Wildflower Weekend there has not been promising.  We have made arrangements for two days of outings.  The outings will be on May 3rd and 4th and are open to all KNPS members as well as interested guests. 

We will be visiting the Nature Conservancy's Smoky Valley Ranch on Saturday afternoon, May 3rd.  This 16,800 acre ranch is located southwest of Oakley in Logan County.  It is a prime example of short-grass prairie and has scenic chalk bluffs and rocky ravines.  Native Americans, U.S. Cavalry, Charles Fremont, Kit Carson, and Wild Bill Hickok passed through Smoky Valley Ranch and the Butterfield stage line stopped at a way station located on the ranch.  The KNPS directors will hold our spring board meeting at the ranch headquarters in the morning.  That afternoon, we will have an opportunity to do botanizing on the ranch.

The following morning, May 4th, we will explore Scott State Park.  This 1,020 acre park surrounds the beautiful spring fed Scott State Fishing Lake and hosts a great diversity of plant species.  El Cuartelejo ruins, a National Historic Landmark that was the site of the northernmost pueblo in the United States is located within the park as well as the Steele Homestead Museum.

Driving directions to the Smoky Valley Ranch from Oakley:

It will take 30 minutes or more to get to the Smoky Valley Ranch from Oakley.  Travel south of Oakley on Highway 83 eleven (11) miles.  Head west on Seneca Road seven (7) miles.  Turn south again on 370th Road, travel approximately seven (7) miles until you reach the ranch headquarters entrance sign.

Please note: if you do a search for the ranch in Google Maps, the address for the Smoky Valley Ranch that is indicated is not where the headquarters is actually located.  Google Maps refers to a mailbox about 5 miles from the headquarters. 

Our schedule for May 3:

10:00 am - noon:  KNPS board meeting

12:00 -1:00 pm:  Lunch near ranch headquarters.  You will need to bring your own lunch and water.

1:00 to 1:30 pm:  Ranch Manager Matt Bain will provide an introduction to the ranch, discussing the ranch's history, work that the Nature Conservancy is doing there, and management issues.

1:30 to 5:30 pm:  We will carpool to sites on the ranch to see the dominant vegetation types, plants, and fauna.  Hopefully, we will be able to visit sites associated with chalk bluffs/outcrops, shortgrass/mixed-grass prairie, and riparian habitats.

On May 4th, we will gather at 9:00 AM at Barrel Springs Trout Pond parking area near the south entrance to Lake Scott State Park - just off state route 95.  From 9:15 am to 1:00 pm, our tentative plans are to hike the Big Springs Nature Trail and vicinity and the Timber Canyon area, including Suicide Bluffs.  Lake Scott is 34 miles south of Oakley, so folks staying in Oakley will need to allow time for the drive.  The park is about 14 miles north of Scott City.  Entrance to the state park requires an annual park vehicle permit or a $5.00 daily vehicle permit.

Some motels in Oakley and Scott City:

Sleep Inn & Suites
East Hwy 40
Oakley, KS 67748

Annie Oakley Motel
428 Center Ave.
Oakley, KS 67748

Relax Inn
1006 Highway 40
Oakley, KS 67748

Best Western El-Quartelejo Inn & Suites
1610 S. Main Street
Scott City, KS 67871

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Annual Wildflower Weekend (AWW) Dates & Location Set

The Kansas Native Plant Society will be holding its 36th Annual Wildflower Weekend (AWW) in Pratt, KS on September 19-21, 2014. We will visit natural areas in Pratt County and the Red Hills of Barber and/or Comanche County.

Anyone who has been to the AWW in the past knows it is the highlight of the year for those who love native plants and enjoy being around people with the same passion.

Never been to an AWW? See what it's all about by viewing the 2013 AWW Gallery.

Details will be posted as they progress for the 2014 AWW.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 Kansas Wildflower of the Year: Blue-eyed Grass Announced


Each year a different wildflower is selected. We then honor and promote it throughout the year. The purpose of selecting a Wildflower of the Year is to increase public awareness of our native Kansas plants.

Current Wildflower of the Year

The 2014 Wildflower of the Year is Blue-eyed Grass

Criteria for Selection

  1. Must be a plant native to Kansas
  2. May be common or rare
  3. Need not be of horticultural interest and this may be a plus
  4. May be selected for emphasis on habitat
  5. Should increase public awareness of our native Kansas plants

Past Wildflowers

Learn more about each species and how to grow them with these species accounts.

Suggest Next Wildflower

What do you want the next "Wildflower of the Year" to be? Contact Us

2014 Kansas Native Plant Society Brochure Now Available

About the Brochure

Every year KNPS prints & distributes our annual brochure. It is updated with timely information such as upcoming events and the current wildflower of the year. Membership information is also included.

Current Brochure

Download the 2014 KNPS Brochure (PDF). The brochure was added on March 10, 2014.

Brochure Distribution

We distribute it to over 400 organizations. Some of the types of organizations that are sent the brochure include:
  • Leaders of KNPS Membership Regions
  • Select Libraries
  • Convention & Visitor Offices
  • Museums
  • Nature Centers
  • National Wildlife Refuges & National Park entities
  • Non-profit Nature organizations
  • State Parks
  • Conservation Districts
  • Extension Offices

Request Brochures

If you would like brochures sent to you to be placed for public access, please contact us with your name, organization name, mailing address and number of brochures needed (25 is a recommended).

Monday, March 3, 2014

February Website Updates

You may be interested to know that the following website updates occurred last month. 
·        22 events added in February (Mar 1)
·        Central Kansas Pocket Guides added (Feb 25)
·        Red Hills Pocket Guide added (Feb 24)
·        Winter Board Meeting Minutes added (Feb 12)
·        Committees updated (Feb 12)

Don’t forget to check out changes to our home page as well: Kansas Native Plant Society

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Available Now: A Pocket Guide to Kansas Red Hills Wildflowers

Readers, who have carried and used the orange booklet A Pocket Guide to Kansas Flint Hills Wildflowers and Grasses by Iralee Barnard, will be thrilled to learn that Great Plains Nature Center has published a companion pocket guide for the flowering plants found in the Kansas Red Hills. A Pocket Guide to Kansas Red Hills Wildflowers uses basically the same format of colored photographs and descriptions to help fans identify the plants found in the south-central or western portions of Kansas. The purple pink cover will help you instantly know which guide you are picking up.

KNPS board member, Phyllis Scherich, is a major contributor to the contents of the guide. Those who have walked with Phyllis on wildflower outings are well aware of her vast knowledge of Red Hills wildflowers and outstanding photographs.

The purpose of this pocket guide is to highlight wildflower species found in the Red Hills or predominately in south-central or western portions of Kansas. It is intended to provide Red Hills' visitors and residents with a small, convenient, and quick reference to the region’s wildflower beauty. Hopefully, one will take away an even greater understanding and appreciation for the natural history, the biological diversity, and the overall beauty of this unique landscape of Kansas.
For more information and ordering instructions go to A Pocket Guide to Kansas Red Hills Wildflowers

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Website Updates

You may be interested to know that the following website updates occurred last month.  
Don’t forget to check out changes to our home page as well:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

December Website Updates

You may be interested to know that the following website updates occurred last month. 

·        13 events added in December (Jan 1)

·        2013 Scholarship Recipients added (Dec 21)

·        2013 AWW Gallery added (Dec 18)

·        2013 Service Award Recipient added (Dec 17)

·        2013 Botany Award Recipient added (Dec 17)

·        Board of Directors updated (Dec 16)

·        2013 Photo Contest Winners added (Dec 12)

Don’t forget to check out changes to our home page as well:

Mary A. Bancroft Memorial Scholarship Request for Proposals 2014

The Kansas Native Plant Society (KNPS) is accepting applications for a $1,000 scholarship in support of graduate student research that enhances our understanding of native plant species or their ecosystems and conservation.  This scholarship is open to all graduate students regularly enrolled in a Kansas college or university.  Proposals must be technically sound and directly applicable to our priorities in Kansas.
A complete proposal shall include the application form, two letters of support from the student’s major professor and/or advisors, and copies of your college/university transcripts. The application form includes a project description, time line, budget, career goals, and a statement of your interest in plants.
Proposals will be assessed based on the merits of the proposed project and how well they fit the objectives of the scholarship. The budget will not be used as a basis for assessing or ranking proposals.
Reviewers will consist of scientists and non-scientists, so keep your narrative readable to a wide audience. The KNPS Awards Committee will review applications and announce results in mid-April.
Awardees will receive recognition at the KNPS annual meeting. They will also be recognized in the KNPS newsletter and on the KNPS website.
Successful applicants will agree to include the following acknowledgement in all publications resulting from research supported under this program: "The Kansas Native Plant Society provided partial support for this work."
The deadline for receipt of proposals is March 15, 2014. Award recipients will be notified by April 15, 2014.
The Scholarship Application Form is a PDF fillable form and can be found by going to the KNPS website at and clicking on "Awards/Scholarship".
The direct link to the Scholarship Application Form is
This request can be downloaded and printed at


This 2014 Scholarship Request for Proposal (PDF) can be downloaded & printed.