Ohio is known in pre-settlement as a forested state with good reason. Yet, other habitats existed as well. Among them were prairies that articulated with the tall grass prairie better known further west. Many of these eastern extensions of prairie provide us with local source material for plants species being used in habitat restoration and pollinator gardens throughout Ohio. We make the case that prairie habitats were here and that these locally sourced plants, their relevant pollinators and other ecological partners are well adapted to the soils and climate here, even where the pre-settlement local habitat was forested. The climatological distinction between prairie and forest is largely based on the amount of rainfall, trees requiring more. Another factor is management. When fire is an ecological influence, prairie is favored over forest.
With this in mind, many of the plants we choose to put in our landscapes for full sun are native prairie species. Favoring these local natives serves many of the declining pollinators that would otherwise be abundant and thriving. Find a complete list of all Ohio Prairie Species and more at Ohio Prairie Association HERE.