Saint John’s is a “landscape paradise” in central Minnesota. Although no complete checklist of vegetation exists for the campus, various surveys reveal a diverse flora. This floral wealth is the result of several terrestrial biomes converging on campus — prairie, savanna, deciduous forest, and coniferous forest — as well as diverse aquatic habitats including both lakes and wetlands. A 56-acre restored prairie at the entrance of Saint John’s is dominated by big bluestem and little bluestem. A savanna has been restored to the north and east of the Gemini Lakes and is characterized by bur oaks scattered among prairie grasses and forbs. Minnesota’s oldest pine plantation occurs on campus near the Preparatory School. Common campus pines include red pine, Scotch pine, and white pine. More than half of the Arboretum is comprised of deciduous forests dominated by either sugar maple and basswood or oak. Cattails and an assortment of sedges and rushes are common in the large, restored wetland that occurs on the north end of campus. Our campus lakes support pondweeds, milfoil, and even carnivorous plants. European buckthorn, and other invasive species, such as earthworms, threaten the long-term health of Saint John’s plant communities.
Saupe, Stephen G. and Melchior, Paul
"The Floral Charms of Saint John’s: A Survey of Botanical Communities,"
Vol. 28, 4-29.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/headwaters/vol28/iss/5