This ecoregion gets its name from the tall grasses that once grew all over this area. These species of grass can reach more than 7 feet (2 m) in height! About 265 herbaceous plant species make up most of the tallgrass prairie in Iowa; 237 species were recorded in a square mile near Lincoln, Nebraska, and 225 species were recorded in the Missouri Valley. Unlike the soils of the Flint Hills Tall Grasslands that borders this ecoregion, the soils of the Central Tall Grasslands were easily converted to use in farming. Historically, fire and drought and grazing by bison and other ungulates were principle sources of disturbance here, which were necessary to maintain the grassland characteristics of the region.
WOW! 273 herbaceous plant species in one square mile right here. I like that. (What was it 300 years ago?)
And, of course, this:
Distinctiveness (1=highest,4=lowest): 1 (globally outstanding) This prairie ecoregion had a rich herbaceous plant cover including as many as 250 species.
Conservation Status (1=most endangered, 5=most intact): 1 (critical) There are no sizeable blocks of intact habitat remaining. Nearly all of the ecoregion has been converted to tilled cropland. Most of the intact patches are smaller than 0.08 km2.*
You can link to a list of native wildlife--I wish there was also a link to native plant species beyond the woody. So far all I get in 4 years of living here is we have bluestem, indian grass, switchgrass, coneflower, liatris, et cetera. Yes. Fine. That's not 237 species, however.