This wild edible 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.
Puccoons and many other members of the borage family have a fascinating type of flower stalk. Technically termed a "scorpiod cyme," the small, tubular flowers arise on spirally condensed, terminal stalks that uncoil and elongate as more flowers open toward the tip.
Horse nettle is a native perennial with spiny stems and leaves, white to purplish flowers and toxic fruits that look like tiny yellow tomatoes. It does well in disturbed habitats and many people consider it a weed.
This plant looks something like a goldenrod, except that the tiny composite flowers are not yellow. Instead, they are cream-colored and rather drab. In Missouri, this plant is especially associated with disturbed habitats and is a troublesome crop weed.
This native plant can be a troublesome weed in crop fields and gardens, but thousands of years ago Native Americans used its fibrous stems for rope-making. Insects are strongly attracted to the nectar in the flowers.
Who can visit a prairie and keep their eyes from the bright red of Indian paintbrush? And who, pondering Indian paintbrush, can not contemplate the Osage, the Kansa, the Pawnee and many other people who lived in these prairies before the pioneers?
Is that a wildflower, or a mushroom? Unlike most plants, Indian pipe lacks chlorophyll, so it is white, not green. Below ground, its roots join with fungi that connect to tree roots. This plant, then, takes nourishment indirectly from the trees.
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