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Allegan Pine Plains

Recognition: The Nature Conservancy Natural Areas Registry

Size: 160 acres

Location: 3 miles east of Fennville, on 126th Ave.

Management: Allegan State Game Area

Activities: Wildflower viewing, photography, nature study

Importance: A contiguous area of oak savanna and dry prairie, one of Michigan's rarer habitat types. It looks like a natural grassland, broken by individual trees and clumps of trees with the presence of typical dry prairie type plants such as black oak, little blue-stem, Pennsylvania sedge, bird's-foot violet, ragwort, wild lupine (see image to left), hairy puccoon, and dwarf blazing star. These are fire adapted plants, and prescribed fire is one of the most important tools used to manage this natural community. The area is a wildflower viewer's paradise with color throughout the spring, summer and autumn. In late May and early June, the wild lupine creates great patches of purple-blue. The most impressive of all the species, the American columbo, begins blooming in late June, but only in certain years. Butterflies arrive or emerge in large numbers later in July.  Among these is the federally endangered and state threatened karner blue butterfly, which depends on lupine as a host plant.