Wildflowers

What's Blooming April through September

In relative order of appearance from April into fall.
 
Pasque Flowers
A small bunch of white flowers within a mat of tan-brown dead grass. Two white flowers with yellow centers within a mat of tan-brown dead grass.
Pasque Flower cluster not in bloom. NPS photo
Pasque Flowers in full bloom. NPS photo

Pasque flower
Pulsatilla vulgaris

Look for this plant mid April to late May at Mulberry Bend Overlook. As a member of the Buttercup family, the leaves and stems are covered with fine hairs, giving it a fuzzy appearance. Pasque flowers will grow 9-12 inches tall with yellow, white, pale blue or dark violet colored flowers.   




 
White flowers with 8 petals stand out against a backdrop of dead brown tree leaves.
Bloodroot. Blooms April-May.

NPS photo

Bloodroot
Sanguinaria canadensis

This native wildflower blooms in early spring (April-May) in the deep woods of Mulberry Bend Overlook. Each delicate flower stalk emerges in spring wrapped by one palmate, grayish-green leaf. The plant produces one white flower with numberous yellow stamens at the center. Flowers are short lived (1-2 days) and open during daylight and close at night. Bloodroot gets its name from the bright reddish-orange sap when cut. The American Indian used this plant for dyes.

 
Small white flowers hang out from a mass of green leaves. Dead wood and dead brown leaves carpet the ground below the flowers.
Dutchman's Breeches. Blooms in April.

NPS photo

Dutchman's Breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Dutchman's breeches are the first wildflowers to bloom by mid to late April in the forests at Mulberry Bend Overlook. The flowers look like a pair of white breeches hanging upside down or shaped like spaceships.

 
Two-inch red flowers hanging down from their thin green stems with their bright yellow stamens sticking out.
Red Columbine. Blooms in May.

NPS photo / Daniel Peterson

Red Columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

In May, look for the red cluster of hanging bell-shaped flowers along the wooded trails at Mulberry Bend Overlook. Also known as Wild Columbine, it grows in well-drained soils and prefer shady areas.

 
A spread of blue-purple flowers brush the picture from left to right. The flowers are mixed with other green grasses. The Missouri River is in the background and out of focus; the sky is gray.
Prairie Flax. Blooms May through early Fall.

NPS photo / Daniel Peterson

Prairie Flax
Linum lewisii

Also known as Lewis's flax or Wild Blue Flax, this species is one of over 220 varieties worldwide--Linum usitatissimum is commercially grown for human consumption. This perennial wildflower or forb can be found on the well-drained dry soils at Mulberry Bend Overlook and is food for deer, birds, and other wildlife. It flowers throughout the warm seasons from May through August.

 
A set of purple flowers against a background of green vegetation.
Bracted Spiderwort. Blooms in June.

NPS photo  /  Daniel Peterson

Bracted Spiderwort
Tradescantia bracteata

Blooming in June at Mulberry Bend Overlook, the flowers cluster at the top of the stem above the leaves. Flowers, lasting only one day, consist of three blue-violet petals and up to six stamens with yellow anthers.

 
A cluster of yellow flowers with brown to greenish flower cones against a backdrop of green and a blue sky.
Gray-headed Coneflower. Blooms in late June.

NPS photo / Daniel Peterson

Gray-headed Coneflower
Ratibida pinnata

Gray-headed coneflowers start showing off their yellow flower heads at Bow Creek Recreation Area and Mulberry Bend Overlook by late June. The cone is gray-brown or greenish in color. Gray-headed coneflowers are much taller than prairie coneflowers. Watch for bees and butterflies making pit stops to these native pollinator plants.

 
Three slim stems with white flowers rise out from a thicket of prairie grass. Green ash trees frame the background in the picture.
White Wild Indigo. Blooms in June.

NPS photo / Daniel Peterson

White Wild Indigo
Baptisia alba

This showy legume stands out from all other prairie plants with its 2- to 4-foot stems of white flowers. Look for them in the parking lot island at Mulberry Bend Overlook in June through July. By autumn, look for its black seed pods attached to the stems.

 
Three light-green stems are heavily covered with flower buds. Purple flower clusters grown out from the center of those stems. Background is green with vegetation.
Hoary Vervain. Blooms in June.

NPS photo / Daniel Peterson

Hoary Vervain
Verbena stricta

Look for the purple flowers of this native pollinator species growing along the concrete pathway at Mulberry Bend Overlook during the months of June through August. It's a favorite for pollinators including moths and butterflies.

 
Yellow flowers with dark-red centers show themselves in company with their small green leaves.
Partridge Pea. Blooms in July.

NPS photo

Partridge Pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Growing in the island circle of the Mulberry Bend Overlook parking lot is a fun plant to observe as its pinnately-compound leaves that bear many small, green leaflets fold together when touched. Also known as the Sleepingplant or Sensative-plant, they have large showy flowers that bloom by July. After they flower a narrow seed pod is produced. The flowers attract a number of pollinators including hummingbirds and hawk moths. Seed pods are eaten by birds and deer.

 

Additional Resources


Wildflower Prayers Series - 80 different species of wildflowers and shrubs of the Missouri National Recreational River by photographer Pat James.

Last updated: May 10, 2020

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