Missouri State link





Once in a golden hour
I cast a seed to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower,
The people said, a weed.

To and fro they went
Thro' my garden bower,
And muttering discontent
Cursed me and my flower.

Then it grew so tall
It wore a crown of light,
But thieves from o'er the wall
Stole the seed by night.

Sow's it far and wide
By every town and tower,
Till all the people cried,
'Splendid is the flower.'

Read my little fable
He that runs may read
Most can raise the flower now.
For all have got the seed.

And some are pretty enough,
And some are poor indeed;
And now again the people,
Call it but a weed.

Tennyson (1908)

Flower in the Crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hands little flower,
-But is I could understand what you are,
Root and all. And all in all,
I should know what God and man is.


In the Ozarks are a rich abundance of flowering trees and shrubs seen during the springtime dotting the hillsides, river valleys, and stream banks. Ranging from deep purple to white, the flowers burst forth in many cases before the leaf buds complete their unfurling. As a consequence tree flower pollen coats shrubs, bushes, porches, and cars with a yellow to pink film in the daytime, and in the summer the fruits that follow from pollination and fertilization mature and serve as wildlife food. The list that follows contains many of the flowering trees and shrubs of the Ozarks, and images of the flowers are accessed by linking to the appropriate page.

Ozark Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis)

Gravel bars and rocky stream beds.

Prickly Ash, Toothache Tree (Zanthoxylum americanum).

Rocky woods along bluffs and thickets in low ground or dry uplands.

Common Alder (Alnus serrulata), male catkins.

Along stream banks and rocky creeks.

Black Willow (Salix nigra), male catkins.

Borders of streams and rocky creeks.

Redbud or Judas Tree (Cercis canadensis).

Open woods. Commonly planted as an ornamental.

Shad Bush (Amerlanchier arborea)

Open rocky woods and steep wooded slopes.

Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.) Many species. State Tree of Missouri.

Open rocky woods, glades and old fields.

Wild Plum (Prunus sp.) Many species.

Open rocky woods, glades and old fields.

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Dry lowland and upland woods and stream valleys.

Paw-paw (Asimina triloba)

Low bottom land woods and wooded slopes along streams.

Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)

Wooded slopes along streams.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida). One of our most popular trees.

Wooded ravines, slopes and bluffs, open glades.

Cucumber Tree (Magnolia acuminata)

Low woods and valleys along streams.

Yellow Wood (Cladastris kentuckea)

Rich wooded slopes and bluffs in White River area.

Missouri Gooseberry, Wild Gooseberry (Ribes missouriense)

Up rocky woods, glades and thickets

Golden Currant, Missouri Currant (Ribes odoratum)

Exposed high limestone bluffs.

Southern Black Haw (Viburnum rufidulum)

Dry rocky woods of slope and bluffs.

Wild Honeysuckle, Azalea, Election Pink (Rhododendron roseum)

Acid soils of north-facing steep slopes in Shannon, Douglas & Ozark Counties.

Deerberry, Highbush Huckleberry (Vaccinium stamineum)

Acid soils of rocky, open wooded slopes and ridges.

Lowbush Huckleberry (Vaccinium vacillans)

Dry rocky open woods of slopes and bluffs.

Fringe Tree, Old Man's Beard (Chionanthus virginica)

Rocky limestone glades.

American Bladder-nut (Staphylea trifolia)

Rich woodlands along streams.

Leatherwood (Dirca palustris)

River bottom woods along streams & rocky wooded bluffs.

American Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus)

Limestone glades and bald knobs.

For further information of flowers of the Ozarks see:

Paul L. Redfearn Jr., (417)-836-5882, Emeritus Professor, Department of Biology, Missouri State University, 901 S. National, Springfield, Missouri 65897, E-Mail: plr426g@missouristate.edu