The Berry Prairie Blog

Native Biodiversity in a Rooftop Landscape

Sep 29, 2011, 5:49 PM
What do we know about the Berry Prairie? We know it is unique, we know that it is beautiful and we know that there are over 60 native plant species that now call it home. But it is not so much what we know about the Berry Prairie that makes it the unique and beautiful landscape that it is, however, what we do not know.
Sep 27, 2011, 6:12 PM
This is one of our favorite pictures of the Berry Center, because of the Penstemon blooming so prettily in front of the building. But, to the careful observer, the Penstemon is only a minor character in the picture—most of the biodiversity is comprised of lichens. Elegant in their colorful bodies and reproductive structures, and admirable for their tenacity in harsh conditions, lichens are truly unique among living organisms because they are formed through the union of two, very unrelated kinds of organisms.
Sep 27, 2011, 4:57 PM
The Berry Prairie has been back in business for about three weeks now. It's incredible how hardy these plants are! In fact, now that fall is here and leaves are turning, the grasses are finishing flowering, everything is going into senescence, you can't even tell it underwent a major overhaul just a month ago!
Sep 22, 2011, 6:26 PM
The diversity of plants in the Berry Prairie is substantial. Even to the untrained eye, there are quite a few species of flowers, shrubs and grasses. We often get asked how many plant species are in the Berry Prairie – and we know there were 62 plant species installed over the summer. However, we periodically find intruders, indicating that the true number of plant species is an unknown number greater than 62. Just yesterday, Kyle (a master’s student studying the green roof) pulled out three clumps of grasses containing pretty rubust weed grasses. And you may recall the Globemallow Fiasco of 2011 from earlier this summer.
Sep 19, 2011, 6:42 PM
Everyone goes ga-ga for wildflowers and trees. And for good reason - they're charismatic and grand, they're relatively easy to tell apart (making us feel better about our plant ID skills), and they possess wonderful aesthetics, making them common subjects of photographs and paintings.
Sep 15, 2011, 6:58 PM
As you know, the Berry Prairie is more than just a green roof. It's also a tool for education, and in many ways.
Sep 12, 2011, 7:10 PM
Last Wednesday, the Berry Center staff - including Greg Brown (Director), Dorothy Tuthill (Associate Director), Kyle Bolenbaugh (Graduate student) and me (Office Manager) - took a road trip.
Sep 8, 2011, 7:29 PM
Here in Laramie, at 7200' above sea level and at the 41* latitude, autumn has begun. Nights are cold and days are getting shorter. Plants are in their last few weeks of the growing season, and the Berry Prairie is starting to show it!