Cajun Prairie Inspired Meadow

 
Our new meadow is coming into bloom. Please fight the temptation
to pick a bouquet so that others can enjoy the flowers, too.

map of LSU Hilltop Arboretum cajun prairie inspired meadow showing entrance, footbridges, Mr. Emory's wedding tree, cathedral, bamboo walk, cajun prairie A, B, C, and D, amphitheater and footprints showing the prairie stroll.

After years of planning our dream for having a Cajun Prairie inspired meadow, it is being realized in 2020. The 3-acre meadow is divided into four areas (A-D) with mowed grass walking paths to allow visitors to experience a rich diversity of native annual and perennial flowers in a patchwork of grasses. Hydric swales, located on the perimeter of the four meadow areas delineate the four meadow spaces, provide drainage, and a unique growing environment for plants to grow that thrive in wet/moist conditions. An earthen amphitheater anchors the northwest corner of the meadow where visitors can sit back and enjoy a bird’s eye view, take photographs, read a book or enjoy a picnic lunch.

Keep in mind the meadows are still in their infancy. The management plan includes removing invasive plants as identified and needed. To manage the woody growth and cut down the grasses at the end of the growing season, bush-hogging is implemented once a year in December after additional meadow seeds are planted. The cutting process settles the seeds to the ground and the cut grass acts as mulch bedding down the seeds until germination in the spring.  Volunteers called the Meadow Keepers, students from the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, collect seeds from other Cajun Prairies around the state and plant them in the meadow. Dr. Charles Allen, one of the foremost experts on Cajun prairies in the State is guiding the development and maintenance strategy, and says it will take ten years for the planting to reach maturity.  

Spring is here and insects are buzzing! Butterflies are flying! Birds are nesting! Visit often to watch the meadow grow and flourish with the changing seasons and years.

Plains Coreopsis, Coreopsis tinctoria

Plains Coreopsis, Coreopsis tinctoria

Partridge Pea, Chamaerista fasciculate

Partridge Pea, Chamaerista fasciculate

Blue Mist Flower, Ageratum

Blue Mist Flower, Ageratum

Lemon Mint, Monarda citriodoraLemon Mint, Monarda citriodora
Indian Blanket, Gaillardia prestivalisIndian Blanket, Gaillardia prestivalis
Ladies Tresses, Spiranthes grayiLadies Tresses, Spiranthes grayi

Swamp Sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius

Swamp Sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius

Virginia Crownbeard, Verbesina virginica

Virginia Crownbeard, Verbesina virginica

Goldenrod, Solidago

Goldenrod, Solidago

Fall Aster, Aster ericoidesFall Aster, Aster ericoides
Aster, Aster praealtusAster, Aster praealtus
Ironweed, Veronia altissimaIronweed, Veronia altissima

 Protect our meadows.
Take only pictures and leave only footprints on the prairie stroll pathways.