May Prairie boasts one of Tennessee's most diverse plant communities, with more than 300 species, 25 of which are rare in Tennessee. Adjoining the Hickory Flat Wood Wildlife Management Area (WMA), May includes disjunct plants from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains; it is the only state location for both the snowy orchid and coastal false-asphodel. It also includes many species common to the Midwest tall grass prairie.
Dr. A. J. Sharp and his University of Tennessee coworkers discovered the prairie during a lunch stop at the Prairie CafÃ©. They were told that a prairie could be found behind the restaurant.
May Prairie is a 250-acre natural area in Coffee County near Manchester. An impressive open grassland community, consisting of little bluestem and tall grass prairie communities, protrudes into the nearby oak forest. A swamp forest forms the headwaters of what once was the "prairie tributary."
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