David J. Ode

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Hamlin Garland was an early twentieth century novelist whose parents homesteaded in Brown County, South Dakota in the late 1800's. To Garland this was the land of the Middle Border. By this expression Garland referred to that boundary existing between the land of the harvester and the land of the hunter. In many ways this region is still the land of the Middle Border, for it is in Edmunds, McPherson and Dickey counties where cropland meets rangeland, where the sub-humid Central Lowland gives way to the semiarid Great Plains and where the tall grass prairie intermingles with the mixed grass plains. Situated here on the Middle Border is the Samuel H. Ordway, Jr. Memorial Prairie, twelve square miles of sanctuary owned by The Nature Conservancy and dedicated to the preservation of prairie plants and animals. Unlike State Game Production Areas (GPAs) and Federal Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) where management is directed toward producing game animals, management of the Ordway Prairie is directed toward maintaining, as much as possible, the full diversity of species and communities present in this part of the northern plains grassland as it was prior to early white settlement. In order to obtain this "full diversity of species" it may be necessary to introduce certain plant species which are not currently found on Ordway Prairie. This assumes that more plant species could have originally existed on Ordway in its pristine condition but have since been eliminated by activities of man such as cultivation and overstocking. For example, about 400 acres of Ordway have been cultivated and there is some indication that much of Ordway was heavily overgrazed prior to its purchase by Thomas Boylan in the 1950's. The primary objective of this study is to identify and locate plant species native to prairie environments of the Central Missouri Coteau region but not reported for Ordway Prairie. Secondly, since the flora of north central South Dakota has been poorly documented, another purpose of this study is to provide new floristic information for this region.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Prairie plants -- North Dakota
Prairie plants -- South Dakota
Prairie plants
Samuel H. Ordway Memorial Prairie



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University