Heralding a new growing season, harbinger of spring can bloom as early as January in our state. You will probably have to look closely for its small clusters. But after a long winter, what a welcome sight they are!
A slender little buttercup growing in rocky, dry areas with acidic soils, Harvey’s buttercup occurs mostly in southern Missouri. One key to identify it is to examine the basal and stem leaves, which are quite different.
Our state flower, the hawthorn, is solidly represented in Missouri. There are about 100 different kinds of hawthorns that occupy almost every kind of soil in every part of the state. Member of the rose family, hawthorns are closely related to apples.
Henbit always draws attention in early spring when it blasts entire fields with the pinkish-purple of its flowers. A non-native weed that spreads abundantly, it causes few problems because it has shallow roots and fades before crops begin to grow.
“Hispid” is a term botanists use to describe plant hairs that are stiff, rigid, or bristly, which fits this densely hairy plant. Hispid buttercup has showy yellow flowers and is found mostly in the southern half of Missouri, usually in moist locations.
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