There's a good chance you've noticed this orchid on your winter hikes and wondered about its strange appearance: a green-and-white-striped, pleated leaf lying flat upon the dead leaves on the forest floor. Check back in May to see its flowers!
Wild and cultivated ginseng produce an annual crop in the United States and Canada valued in excess of $25 million, but overzealous collection is causing serious concern about the survival of American ginseng in the forest ecosystem.
Despite its coarse-sounding name, bastard toadflax is one of the hundreds of wildflowers that bejewel our native prairies. A perennial herb with yellowish-green foliage and smooth, upright stems, it grows and flowers under the hottest conditions.
Introduced as an ornamental, this native of Asia is common in moist or dry wooded bottomlands, open valley pastures, along trails, railroads and roadsides. It is edible, and red forms of it are often grown in herb gardens.
Also called "pansy violet" and "hens and roosters," this spring wildflower can make a glade or bluff top heavenly with its pretty lavender and purple "faces." When you see your first big colony of bird's-foot violets, you will probably never forget it.
The small, cloverlike flowering heads and trifoliate leaves of black medick are a clue that this plant is in the Fabaceae, the bean or pea family. An introduced, weedy species, it is closely related to alfalfa.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources.
We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.
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