Tall Grass Prairie in Medora Prairie
Tall Grass Prairie in Medora Prairie Tall Grass Prairie in Medora Prairie © Lauren Nickell/Iowa

Places We Protect


Medora Prairie

Medora Prairie in southern Warren county contains big bluestem and Indian grass.

The Medora Prairie is an uncommon central Iowa remnant. This area is home to many regal fritillary butterflies and eastern gamma grass, the ancestor of the corn plant. 

Why You Should Visit

Medora Prairie is a tallgrass prairie remnant located in the gently rolling hills of the Southern Iowa Drift Plains. The rolling landscapes of this preserve feature approximately 60 acres of native tallgrass prairie dissected by wooded ravines. It supports a diverse array of plants and rare prairie butterflies.


Medora Prairie is located about 10 miles southwest of Indianola and 1 mile north of County Highway G76.


Like other tallgrass prairies, Medora is characterized by high rainfall and rich soil. The preserve is dominated by big bluestem and Indian grass.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

Medora Prairie was purchased by the Conservancy from Virginia Beener in 1996. Virginia and her late husband Louis had maintained the prairie as native pasture. Just before the Conservancy acquired it, they had rented it out for commercial native prairie seed collecting.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

Rolling Thunder Prairie State Preserve, a 123-acre tallgrass prairie preserve owned and managed by the Warren County Conservation Board, is within 1½ miles of Medora Prairie. These two preserves make a significant contribution to the conservation of tallgrass prairie in southern Iowa.

What to See: Plants

Medora Prairie is filled with a wide variety of trees and other plants, including: beebalm or wild bergamot, big bluestem, butterfly milkweed, common mountain mint, compass plant, field milkwort, gray-headed coneflower, heath aster, Indian grass, little bluestem, pale coneflower, partridge pea, prairie violet, rough blazing star, round-headed bush clover, side-oats, spiked lobelia, stiff sunflower, switch grass and white wild indigo.

What to See: Animals

Medora Prairie is a great spot for spotting various species of butterfly, including the beautiful monarch, the regal fritillary and the endangered byssus skipper. Also look for wild turkeys, bobwhite quail and ring-necked pheasant.

Preserve Visitation Guidelines