Blue false indigo is a native bushy perennial with three-parted compound leaves and showy, upright stalks of blue pea flowers. The seedpods are inflated and turn black upon maturity, and the seeds rattle around in the dry pods.
Blue vervain is a tall, slender, erect perennial with branching stems and rough hairs. Its tubular flowers are clustered in many terminal spikes, and can be deep purple, violet, light lavender, or rarely white.
It has grasslike leaves, but it’s not a grass. In fact, it’s in the same family as the common garden iris! Four species of blue-eyed grass grow in Missouri, and this one, often found on prairies, glades, and pastures, is the most common.
The flowers of blue-eyed Mary are only about a half inch wide, but this pretty plant makes up for it by usually appearing in abundance, covering a patch of forest floor with little sky-blue and white “faces.”
Brown-eyed Susan is a bushy perennial with much-branching stems and plenty of flowerheads. Compared to Missouri’s other Rudbeckia species, its flowerheads are the smallest, growing to only about one inch across.
Bull thistle is a weedy introduction from Europe, found statewide. To tell it from our other thistles, note its stems with spiny-margined wings, and its leaves with the upper surface strongly roughened with stiff, spiny bristles.
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.