Knott Tallgrass Prairie
About this prairie
Knott Prairie is located on the flood plain of the Platte River within a mile and is a good example of a wet meadow prairie. The water table here is no more than 10 to 15 inches below the surface and there is frequently standing water after rainstorms. Because of the high-water table, this prairie supports a variety of wetland plants including two varieties of horsetails, a number of sedges and rushes, plants such as water plantain and winged loosestrife which grow in standing water. The Knott prairie also has a wide range of more mesic plant species. In the spring in mid-May visitors can see a large population of the rare wood betony or lousewort, hoary puccoon, pink oxalis and blue-eyed grass. In late June on higher elevations Sullivant’s milkweed is common and a smaller numbers of butterfly milkweed and swamp milkweed plants are seen.
As the soil begins to dry out in late summer taller species such as gray headed coneflower, a species of tall gayfeather (liatris spicata) reach 5 to 6 feet in height and are very common. Early fall brings azure aster and the goldenrods. There are many more native plants. The total number of species approaches 150. The bird species found on the prairie are also unusual. Henslow’s sparrow is seen and nests in the long grass in early spring when the grass has not been mowed. Later Knott prairie is home to a good number of bobolinks some of whom may nest on the prairie. Later dickcissels and grasshopper sparrows can be seen in midsummer.
The Education Committee uses this site as an outdoor classroom.
Type of habitat:
Floodplain/Wet Meadow Lowland Prairie
Saunders County, northeast of Yutan, NE
Wildlife and Plant Species Found Here:
Flora: northern water plantain, yellow star grass, swamp milkweed, marsh vetch, palespike lobelia, common lousewort, wolly sedge, prairie cordgrass, winged loosestrife, obedient plant, crested sedge, emory's sedge, wild indigo, strict blue-eyed grass, water parsnip, bulbous bittercress, meadow anemone, azure aster, self-heal, prairie ragwort
Fauna: bobolink, henslow sparrow, sedge wren, copes grey treefrog, bumblebees, parasitic bees
GPS Coordinates: 41°15'16.3"N 96°22'04.0"W
Google Maps Address: Tim Knott Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Co Rd 4, Yutan, NE 68073, USA
1.0 mile north on Rd 5 from Rd 5/NE 92 intersection at the southeast edge Yutan to Rd N, 1 mile east on Rd N to intersection with Rd 4, 0.5 mile north on Rd 4; Prairie on east side of road bordered by evergreen grove on north and NRCS Conservation Easement prairie on south. (These are unimproved roads. If Rd N is not passable, proceed 1 more mile north on Rd 5 to Rd O, followed by traveling 1 mile east on Rd O to end of Rd O at intersection with Rd 4, and, 0.5 mile south on Rd 4 to prairie site on east side of Rd 4.)