Spring Flowers in Ha Ha Tonka State Park: MO

Hiking in Spring yields wildflower beauties last weekend, no matter where I turned on the trail. The trail itself varied in the type to terrain as well as the sun availability, soil moister and content. This forested and and dry, rocky terrain sported bees and butterflies taking advantage of the mid-Spring petal collection.

It took me quite a bit of research to identify (hopefully accurately) what I saw during the hike. Online isn’t the best way, sometimes to try image ID. What I’ve learned:

  • Carry a paper wildflower field guide to take along on my next hike.
  • Pay more attention to the flowers, their leaves and buds to help me understand what the flower resembles.
  • Make some notes on what I find for future reference. Maybe a small diary like this one.

Left to right and top to bottom:

Wild Bergamot
Monarda fistulosa, commonly called wild bergamot, is a common Missouri native perennial which occurs statewide in dryish soils on prairies, dry rocky woods and glade margins, unplanted fields and along roads and railroads. 

Missouri primrose
Also called glade lily, this plant of Missouri’s glades, bluffs and rocky prairies has multiple stems that trail along the ground. Flowers open in the late afternoon for night pollination by moths. Primrose is a favorite for cultivation in rock gardens and other full-sun locations. The large (up to 4 inches across), lemon-yellow flowers make Missouri primrose one of our showiest wildflowers.

False Solomon’s Seal
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in part shade. Prefers rich, loose, moist, humusy soils. Intolerant of the hot and humid summers of the deep South. Roots do not like to be disturbed, particularly before a plant becomes established. 

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush is a sought-after prairie beauty that prefers bright sites with medium-dry to medium-wet soils. A hemiparasitic plant is one that its roots seek out those of host plants, usually grasses, and tap into them for nutrition

Foxglove, or smooth beardtongue is a  clump-forming, perennial herb; it is the tallest of the 4 white-flowered penstemons in Missouri. 

Spreading Sandwort
Minuartia patula  – Minuartia, for Juan Minuart, a 18th Century Spanish botanist and pharmacist and patula spreading.

Oxeye Daisy
Scientifically known as Leucanthemum vulgare, the oxeye daisy is a wildflower that shares its European origins with the English daisy. Its wild nature lends itself to spreading easily, and being drought tolerant. Although beautiful, the oxeye daisy has been known to plague the fields and pastures of Europe where today it is considered a common weed.

Wild Raspberries
An  edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus of the rose. Tastey and full of nutrition. 

Green Heart Leaves: Not sure what it is!

I’m looking foward to my next forest hike in the near future.

Bloom in the wild,


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