Ozarks Spring Finery

As soon as spring temperatures start shoving winter out of the Ozarks spring finery begins to pop up. People driving by think this means the redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom. They should get out of their vehicles and go walking.

white violet blooming
The old song may say violets are blue and some are, but may are other colors like this white or striated violet. Unlike the common blue violet, white violets have short stems and grow almost a foot tall. The plants bloom profusely all summer along damp, shaded roadsides and in ravines or along creeks.

All the spring wildflowers are rushing their flowers out. White, yellow, blue, Johnny Jump Up and bird’s foot violets are among them. The blue and white ones will bloom much of the spring into summer. The Johnny Jump Up, yellow and bird’s foot will bloom for a few weeks and vanish until next year.

Bloodroot was scarce when we moved here. It’s popular with herb diggers. Now I see it back in the ravines, even along the road. They show for the morning and fade away by noon.

Pale Corydalis flowers
The first year I noticed these feathery plants with their yellow flowers, I saw only a few. Now Pale Corydalis plants show up in the lawn and along the road. They could be considered weeds, but bloom for a short time and vanish. It makes more sense to enjoy their yellow trumpets.

Pale corydalis is one of those bits of spring finery that get overlooked easily. The plants are small and feathery. The flowers are half inch long tubes. Walking along the bright yellow catches the eye.

I like the deep color of rose verbena. It’s common along parts of the road and near the creek and easily spotted. It’s rose purple sets off the nearby orange puccoon.

yellow spring finery orange puccoon
Like the daffodils the orange puccoon is a bright flower. The color ranges from yellow to orange. The plants are normally six or seven inches tall and less than a foot across. I find them on a road cut where the soil is poor and prone to erosion. They grace the area for a month or so then vanish.

These named flowers are only a taste of what is blooming and coming into bloom. There are a couple of dozen out now. The flowers are serious business for the plants that want to set seed to begin another generation of plants. They flaunt their colors and shapes and scents for the insects.

redbuds are pink spring finery
The redbud is a small tree and prefers to grow under cover of oaks and hickories. It does grow out by itself. The flowers emerge from the twigs, branches and trunks in thick clumps surrounding the wood with color. The flowers are edible with a nutty, bit of sweet taste.

All these colors are missed by the people driving by. They can admire the redbuds. These interesting trees put out their pink slippers from their branches and trunks.

They should notice the many wild plums filled with white blossoms. Sassafras is harder to spot as their yellow flowers are much smaller in smaller clusters.

In another week the dogwoods will begin blooming. Then the Ozark woods will be dressed in pink and white spring finery to celebrate the season.

Admire more photographs of Ozark wildflowers in “My Ozark Home.”