USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


Fresh (wet) meadows are dominated by grasses, such as redtop grass and reed canary grass, and by forbs such as giant goldenrod, growing on saturated soils. The grass family (Gramineae) and aster family (Compositae) are well represented in fresh (wet) meadows. The forbs and grasses of these meadows tend to be less competitive, more nutrient demanding, and often shorter-lived species than the sedges of the sedge meadow community. Therefore, fresh (wet) meadows may represent younger communities that indicate recent disturbances of other inland fresh meadows by drainage, siltation, cultivation, pasturing, peat fires and/or temporary flooding. Once established, the forbs and grasses of the fresh (wet) meadow community may persist for extended periods of time.

Fresh (wet) meadow

VEGETATION: The dominant graminoid of this fresh (wet) meadow is reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) while the dominant forb is sawtooth sunflower (Helianthus grosseserratus). Other species include giant sunflower (Helianthus giganteus), joe-pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum), giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea), redstem aster (Aster puniceus), New England aster (Aster novae- angliae), hedge nettle (Stachys palustris), jewel weed (Impatiens capensis), tall meadowrue (Thalictrum dasycarpum), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and dogbane (Apocynum sp.).

SOILS: Faxon silty clay loam (Typic Haplaquolls), a poorly-drained to very poorly- drained soil on terraces of floodplains. These soils are formed in silty to clayey alluvium underlain by dolomite bedrock. Landscape position of this example is a terrace within the broad valley of the Minnesota River.

HYDROLOGY: Faxon soils have a seasonal high water table at the surface to 12 inches below the surface during November through May of most years.

LOCATION: Black Dog Preserve, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Dakota County, Minnesota.


Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.)
Redtop (Agrostis gigantea Roth)
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.)
Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea Michx.)
Giant Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea Aiton)
Redstem Aster (Aster puniceus L.)
Swamp Aster (Aster lucidulus (Gray) Wieg.)
Marsh Aster (Aster simplex Willd.)
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale L.)
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata L.)
Slender Rush (Juncus tenuis Willd.)
Canada Rush (Juncus canadensis J. Gay.)

Previous Section -- Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor L.)
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.)

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:31:37 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]