Also known as Wild Sweet William, Wild Blue Phlox is a favorite spring wildflower gives bright splashes of color to the woodlands. Growing best in the dappled shade of the woodland borders and preferring well drained ground, you often see Blue Phlox decorating the edges of trails.
In the very early spring you often see small white flowers with pink veins called Spring Beauties. They don’t last long peeking through last year’s leaves on the forest floor. Some flowers have more pink than others, with many being nearly pure white. The medium green leaves are thin blades like grass but are more fleshy and thick.
Virginia Bluebells, also known as Mertensia virginica are a spring ephemeral. That means the plant grows in the spring but doesn’t last through the summer. The foliage will die back by midsummer and the plant will go dormant. This strategy is common in spring plants and serves to protect them from the harsh dry conditions of late summer on the forest floor.
One of the most beautiful trees you will ever see anywhere is native right here in the Ozarks. The American Redbud is found in forests, along fence rows, in fields, next to streams, and in yards all over America. It thrives in a wide variety of habitats and is resistant to diseases that cripple other ornamental trees. It blooms in the early spring, the branches covered with small 1/2″ pink and magenta flowers that bloom before the leaves emerge.
Everywhere you look in early spring you will see this little delicate flower. Rue Anemone is found in woodlands blooming about the same time as the redbud trees. Most of the time it’s white or very light pink, but sometimes you can find one that’s a more pronounced pink. The flowers are both single and often have a double row of petals.