Rare Wildflowers of the Ozarks
Early Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes lucida) Another orchid, it is rare in Missouri. In flower from mid-May through June, it is the only species of ladies tresses found here that flowers in the spring. It can be seen in fens and other wetland areas.
Royal Catchfly (Silene regia) This striking plant may grow as high as five feet, with bright red flowers.
It flowers from May through September, and can be seen in remnant prairies and open woods. In Missouri, it is known only in the Ozarks.
Rein Orchid (Platanthera flave)
This rare orchid produces greenish-
yellow flowers in June and July,
and can reach a height of two feet.
In Missouri, it is known to occur in
only five counties.
Heart-leaved Plantain (Plantago chordata) once common throughout the eastern United States, this plant survives in a very small handful of sites outside the Ozarks, making this its last stronghold. Siltation, pollution and other water quality degradation of previously clear, gravel bottom streams caused this plant’s disappearance from much of its former range. Look for it in small gravel creeks throughout the area.
Forked Aster (Eurybia furcatus) Another edge of range species, it blooms on wooded slopes in August and September. New flowers are almost pure white, becoming rosy or lilac colored with time.
Ozarks Wild Crocus (Tradescantia longipes) This beautiful flower is found in the Ozarks, and nowhere else on Earth. Its variably colored flowers (magenta, purple, purplish-blue) are visible in April and May in heavily forested areas surrounding the Current River and its tributaries.
The Nature Conservancy can be contacted at:
For more detailed information and range maps, go to the USDA Plant Database. You can look up any native plant by common or scientific name.
Last updated: January 5, 2018