Wildflower Favorites

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Published on: Jun. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 26, 2010

Missouri. It is one of our later flowering plants, and its flowers provide nectar for migrating monarch butterflies each fall. This aster grows best with full sun to light shade in moist soil, where it can reach a height of 6 feet. A shorter plant will result from pinching back the stems early in the growing season.

Grayhead coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

Flowers: May - September

Prairies, edges of forests and roadsides are home to this wildflower throughout Missouri, except for the Bootheel counties. Grayhead coneflower grows well in full sun to light shade, reaching heights of 3 to 5 feet. The clumps of basal leaves stay green late into the fall and reappear early each spring.


Missouri primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)

Flowers: May - August

Also called glade lily, this plant of Missouri's glades, bluffs and rocky prairies has multiple stems that trail along the ground. Flowers open in the late afternoon for night pollination by moths. Primrose is a favorite for cultivation in rock gardens and other full-sun locations. The large (up to 4 inches across), lemon-yellow flowers make Missouri primrose one of our showiest wildflowers.


Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea)

Flowers: May - September

A legume of prairies, glades and other open habitats, purple prairie clover grows wild throughout the state, with the exception of the lowland counties of southeastern Missouri. Clusters of stems grow to 3 feet in height in full sun, even in dry soils. The finely cut leaves are themselves attractive in landscaping. The closely related white prairie clover (Dalea candida) is also popular for home landscapes.

Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

Flowers: June - October

Look for this coneflower, also known as Missouri black-eyed Susan, throughout the Ozarks on limestone and dolomite glades and in rocky prairies. It can dominate barren, rocky areas in full sun. In home landscapes, it thrives in well-drained soil with full sun, where it grows to 2 feet in height.





Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Flowers: May - September

A vibrant wildflower, butterfly weed inhabits prairies, glades and rocky, open places such as roadsides throughout the state. It is one of 15 species of milkweed native to Missouri. Older plants have many flowering stems, forming a shrublike growth up to 2.5 feet tall. In addition to being an excellent nectar source for many butterflies, butterfly weed is

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