The park also contains well developed riverine and alluvial hardwood forest, open marshland, and oxbow meadows such as this one.
Much of the park consists of upland oak forest...
...or sandy prairie.
Take a trip to Lick Creek Park and you will see several different ecosystems and many different plants. The show begins with the drive to the park. The roadsides of Greens Prairie and Rock Prairie roads are rich with wildflowers, especially in spring. Yellow flowered Thelesperma is very showy.
Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, is a familiar sight. The blossoms are small and greenish; what's showy is the colored bracts beneath the flowers.
Bull Thistle, Cirsium horridulum, is a plant best appreciated at a distance. The leaves are unmercifully spiny. The blooms are usually creamy yellow...
...though pink-flowered plants are common too.
Wooly-white, Hymenopappus, is abundant in mid-spring.
Like other members of the Asteraceae or Sunflower Family (also referred to as Composites), they produce a head made up of many small flowers or florets. The heads of Hymenopappus are unusual. They are composed of entirely of disk florets, but the white phyllaries or bracts are petaloid and look like ray florets.
Later in the summer, Buffalo Bur, Solanum rostratum, can be found. The leaves and calyces are terribly prickly.
Mexican Hat, Ratibida columnifera, is easy to recognize with its long, cone-shaped receptacle.
Near the parking lot is a large open area which is regularly mowed. The plants here are a mixture of native species and common introduced weeds.
Chapter 2 - Open Area
Lick Creek Park Field Trip Home Page