Photos and Post by Mike Palladini, Land Trust Stewardship Program Manager
As the Land Trust stewardship team continues its efforts to restore serpentine prairie on our Missimer Preserve, this spring’s outstanding wildflower displays provided yet another reminder of why this work is well worth the effort!
The Preserve’s serpentine plant communities have long been regarded as a botanical gem of Napa County and the Bay Region, but they had been highly degraded by barbed goatgrass and other invasive species before the restoration began. The restoration – which included prescribed burning conducted with the help of CalFire – has dramatically reduced the density of invasive species, and the prairie is once again dominated by native wildflowers.
In addition to stunning wildflower displays, the native plant diversity in the restoration area has been impressive. Professional botanist Jake Ruygt has now documented 223 native plant species in just 60 acres of prairie. These include several rare species that are found only on serpentine soils in our area and nowhere else on the planet!