Marking the eastern-flung boundaries of old post-glacial flood plains and lakes in middle Illinois are Long low ranges of sand hills and wind-chiseled Loess bluffs which, through the passage of many centuries of west winds and pouring prairie rains, have been curry-combed into an almost conical shape. They are miniature mountains, the Loess bluffs, and the sand hills are great, stabilized dunes whose substance of sand nevertheless may begin to move if the tight covering of vegetation is displayed. Bu1 the roots of prairie plants grow deeply and form a heavy mat. As Long as they stay, the sand hills stay in place: the loess bluffs, a more stable substance which seldom erodes holds it- top soil as long as the plants are there.
Anemone caroliniana Walt.
April. Open prairie hills. sands.
High on the tops of these hills are tiny rosettes of small, compound, ferny leaves. They are thick, sturdy leaves in spite of their small size, and their roots are one with the depths of soil which they require lor Life. The Leaves are silvery-purple and pale green in spring. Then, under the alternately beneficent face of the April sun and the cold, chill rains of a hestitating spring, the curled-down, rose-grey, silky hud- finally stand erect and bloom - the Carolina anemones. They are three to ten inches tall, noble little plants which should know alpine heights of timberline country, not the tops of prairie hills. The flower, like most alpine plants, is much Larger in proportion to the plant than lowland flowers. The flower may be three inches high and an inch and a half wide with 15 to L8 narrow, pale pink, lavender, or white petal- around a yellow center. This is a western plain whose eastern boundary is reached in Illinois.