Native Plants For Sunny Areas


Plants that grow well in sun


Missouri primrose | Oenothera macrocarpa

Also called glade lily, this plant is found in Missouri’s glades, bluffs and rocky prairies.

  • Flowers: May–August
  • Mature height, 10 inches; spread, 24–26 inches
  • Has multiple stems that trail along the ground
  • Lemon-yellow flowers are up to 4 inches wide
  • Flowers open in late afternoon for night pollination by moths

Missouri black-eyed Susan | Rudbeckia missouriensis

Also called Missouri coneflower, this plant is found throughout the Ozarks on limestone and dolomite glades and in rocky prairies.

  • Flowers: June–October
  • Mature height, 12–30 inches; spread 16–24 inches
  • Can dominate barren, rocky areas in full sun
  • Thrives in well-drained soil with full sun

Butterfly milkweed | Asclepias tuberosa

A vibrant wildflower, butterfly milkweed inhabits prairies, glades, and rocky, open places such as roadsides throughout the state.

  • Flowers: May–September
  • Mature height, 18–24 inches; spread, 24 inches
  • Makes an excellent source of nectar for many butterflies
  • Provides food for monarch butterfly caterpillars
  • Grows best in well-drained soil

Prairie blazing star | Liatris pycnostachya

Found on prairies and rocky, open ground, this plant grows wild nearly statewide and makes an excellent landscaping choice.

  • Flowers: July–October
  • Mature height, 36–48 inches; spread, 12–14 inches
  • Can produce 10 or more flowering stems on older plants
  • Often visited by bumblebees, butterflies, and other pollinators in summer
  • Prefers average to moist soils

Purple prairie clover | Dalea purpurea

A legume of prairies, glades and other open habitats, purple prairie clover grows wild throughout the state, except in the lowland counties in southeastern Missouri.

  • Flowers: May–September
  • Mature height, 18–24 inches; spread, 16–20 inches
  • Grows well in dry soils
  • Is a favorite for home landscapes