• Canoers

    Ozark

    National Scenic Riverways Missouri

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  • Alley Mill Closed for Renovations

    The Alley Mill will be undergoing renovations much of summer of 2014. It will be open daily through Aug 17 and then only on weekends after that. There will be fencing around the Mill which will prevent close access. More »

Plants

Nature and Science

Cardinal flower

At the junction of the eastern hardwood forest, southern pine forest and Great Plains biomes, the Ozarks has a diverse plant population. Prickly pear cactus and paw paw trees grow nearly side by side in forests dominated by white oaks. Some species are relicts from the last Ice Age, holding on in cooler pockets around cave mouths while their nearest relatives are hundreds of miles to the north. Others are desert species, left behind on dry rocky glades by similar climate changes. In the springtime, the forest floor blooms with the many "spring ephemerals", the trilliums, bloodroot, trout lilly, jack in the pulpit and others who live out their life during the short interval between the onset of warm weather and the growth of tree leaves that cut off the forest floor from much needed sunshine. In summer, the open areas and roadsides are blooming with pale purple coneflower, butterfly weed, and an array of asters, daisies, wild carrot and others.

Did You Know?

Big Spring at Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Big Spring, at Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri has a daily flow of 286 million gallons of water. This is enough to fill a typical pro football stadium once a day. More at www.nps.gov/ozar More...