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Example Root Depths

Blazingstars tend to be colonizing plants that can thrive in degraded or recovering prairies. Well adapted to drought because they have a deep root system for water absorption.
Blazingstar, Thickspike  Liatris pycnostachya 10-12 ft.
Goldenrod, Stiff  Solidago rigida up to 5 m.
The large root systems of silphiums play an important role in a prairie. Thick taproots can reach depths of 3-4.5 m. and penetrate clay subsoils.
Compass Plant  Silphium laciniatum 12-14 ft.
Prairie Dock  Silphium terebinthinaceum 12-14 ft.
Cup Plant  Silphium pertoliatum 12-14 ft.
Rosin Weed  Silphium integrifolium 12-14 ft.
Legume species aid in the soil building process by means of deep penetrating root systems as do the indigos,Baptisia spp.. They have long penetrating roots. Living within the root nodules is a bacteria that will convery inert nitrogen into usable compounds. The nitrogen-fixing bateria are genus-specific for the plant. The deep root systems of legumes help in breaking up clay subsoils.

Big Bluestem  Andropogon gerardi 1.5 - 2.2 m.
Indian Grass  Sorghastrum nutans 1.6 - 1.8 m.
Little Bluestem  Andropogon scoparius 1.4 - 1.8 m.
Porcupine Grass  Stipa spartea 0.7 - 1 m.
Prairie Cordgrass  Spartina pectinata 2.5 - 4 m.
Prairie Dropseed  Sporobolus heterolepis 1 - 1.7 m.
Side Oats Grama  Bouteloua curtipendula 0.5 m.
Switch Grass  Panicum virgatum 2 - 3.7 m.

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