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Native Area

Located west of the Yellow Jacket student apartments, it is believed that this area has never been plowed or converted to agricultural use. The area includes a steep slope that is adjourned with flatter areas. Native species growing from the rocky soil promote biodiversity, provide habitats, and contribute to our sustainability initiative by not requiring irrigation or standard maintenance.

As a certified Bee Campus USA, Black Hills State University recognizes the importance of and values pollinators, pollination, and the conservation of native species. The prairie serves as an educational area, allowing access to growing plants, outdoor lab exercises, hands-on research projects, and service-learning opportunities.

The Black Hills of South Dakota is home to over 1,500 plant species that are representative of the Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, the northern boreal forest, and eastern deciduous habitats.

Native Areas are designated areas of land preserving their natural composition. Native species have adapted to the soil composition and weather conditions, requiring less water and overall maintenance. Native areas encourage pollination, biodiversity, habitats for wildlife, and sustainability, adding aesthetic and strategic value to our campus and community.

The Native Area at Black Hills State University stands as an educational resource for all visitors, preserving the natural legacy of the Black Hills.

List of vascular plant species identified in the BHSU Prairie, 2017-2018

  • Soapweed, yucca glauca 
  • Pasture Sage, Lady Sage, artemisia frigid 
  • White Sage, Man Sage, artemisia ludoviciana 
  • Dwarf Milkweed, asclepias pumila 
  • Common Ragweed, ambrosia artemisiifolia 
  • White Prairie Aster, symphyotrichum falcatum 
  • Smooth Blue Aster, symphyotrichum leave 
  • Wavy-Leaf Thistle, cirsium undulatum 
  • Purple Coneflower, echinacea angustifolia 
  • Boneset, kuhnia eupatorioides 
  • Prickly Lettuce, lactuca serriola 
  • Dotted Gayfeather, liatris punctata 
  • Rigid Goldenrod, solidago rigida 
  • Yellow Goatsbeard, Salsify, tragopogon dubius 
  • Fragile Prickly Pear, opuntia fragilis 
  • Bladder Campion, silene vulgaris 
  • Leafy Spurge, euphorbia esula 
  • Lead Plant, amorpha canescens 
  • Black Medic, medicago lupulina 
  • Alfalfa, medicago sativa 
  • Yellow Sweet Clover, melilotus officinalis 
  • Red Clover, trifolium pretense 
  • White Clover, trifolium repens 
  • Narrowleaf Four-O-Clock, mirabilis linearis 
  • Green Ash, fraxinus pennsylvanica 
  • Crested Wheatgrass, agropyron cristatum 
  • Big Bluestem, andropogon gerardii 
  • Buffalograss, bouteloua dactyloides 
  • Blue Grama, bouteloua gracilis 
  • Smooth Brome, bromus inermis 
  • Orchard Grass, dactylis glomerata 
  • Little Bluestem, schizachyrium scoparium 
  • Foxtail, setaria sp. 
  • Prairie Rose, rosa arkansana 
  • Choke Cherry, prunus virginiana 
  • Butter And Eggs, linaria vulgaris 
  • Mullein, verbascum thapsus 
  • Groundcherry, physalis virginiana 
  • Hackberry, celtis occidentalis

Native Area Location

Map of the location of the Native Area, located west of the Yellow Jacket student apartments