Plants and Animals

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From Missouri Conservationist: Apr 2009

Species of Concern

Alabama snow wreath

Common Name: Alabama snow wreath

Scientific Name: Neviusia alabamensis

Range: Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia

Classification: Imperiled globally, due to rarity

To learn more about endangered species: explore the links listed below.

Alabama snow wreath is sort of the Flying Dutchman of Missouri plants. Observed by a botanist in Butler County more than 90 years ago, it has not been found in the Show-Me State since. However, the existence of several scattered populations in northern Arkansas provides hope that it might turn up on this side of the state line again one day. This shrub stands 3 to 6 feet tall and grows in colonies that spread by rhizomes. The feathery white flowers, which appear in April, form clusters at the ends of arching branches. The edges of its leaves have a distinctive, double-toothed form. Alabama snow wreath usually grows on dry, rocky, forested slopes around sinkholes or along streams, but the Butler County specimen was growing in sandy loam. If you think you have found one, please photograph the whole plant, plus close-ups of the leaves and flowers and call (573) 751-4115 to report it.

Habits to Houses

New booklet condenses purple martin wisdom.

Purple martins begin nesting in Missouri this month. Their return fills the air with cheerful chatter as man-made martin houses fill with chicks. The Conservation Department has a new publication, Missouri’s Purple Martins, full of information about martins and how to attract them to your neighborhood. You can find the 12-page booklet online. To receive a printed copy, e-mail your name and address to, or mail to Missouri’s Purple Martins, MDC, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.

Missouri Wildflowers

Revised book is more beautiful and easier to use.

A revised edition of Missouri Wildflowers makes learning about Show-Me State flowers easier than ever. The 277-page, day-pack sized book by Edgar Denison was first released in 1972 and has become an essential part of serious amateur naturalists’ libraries. Revisions incorporated into the sixth edition include a stunning new cover, updated taxonomy, larger photos and color-coded page tabs to help users quickly find information about flowers based on colors and blooming times. The book features 297 photos and detailed information about native and naturalized Missouri wildflowers and an appendix that describes another 163 flowering plants. Missouri Wildflowers is available for $12 plus shipping and handling, and sales tax (where applicable) by calling toll free (877) 521-8632 or visiting our online nature shop or at Conservation Nature Centers statewide.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler