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.
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 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.
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.
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.”