Cacti! Yes, as mentioned in an earlier post on Spring Green Preserve, Wisconsin is home to a native cactus species, the Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifosa). Mazomanie Oak Barrens is one of a handful of SNA’s where cacti can be found. From there thick green and spiky leaves to their brilliant yellow blossoms and their edible fruits, the prickly pear cactus does not disappoint, no matter the season. This site is located just a couple of miles from Mazomanie Bottoms, making them a great pair to visit together. An oak barrens is, of course, decidely more dry and comes with its own typical plants including the cacti, rough blazing star (Liatris aspera), Round-headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata), and various goldenrods and asters. It is neat to see this sandy expanse of land so near to the Wisconsin River when its sister site, Mazomanie Bottoms, is a completely different natural community. I still feel that I haven’t caught this site at it peak and so I plan to visit several more times.
More of my photos from Mazomanie Oak Barrens can be viewed here.
|Parking||Parking area (gravel)|
|Easy to Find||Yes|
|Best Seen By||Foot|
|Located Within||Lower Wisconsin State Riverway|
|Dates Visited||7.5.09 / 9.28.13 / 8.24.14|