En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - December 10, 2013

From: O'Fallon, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Earliest spring wildflowers from O'Fallon Mo.
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Which spring wildflower blooms first around the St. Louis area?

ANSWER:

We cannot define the "first" wildflower to bloom in Saint Charles County at the east central border of Missouri, but we can find some that bloom early and list them for you. The reasons we can be no more exact than that are:

(1) Wildflowers bloom when and where they jolly well please. Every year we get questions from readers who have bluebonnets (traditionally blooming from mid-February to late April) blooming in their yards in August. Do we know why? Nope.

(2) There are some native wildflowers, almost all perennials, that can bloom year round, depending on weather conditions. Which is earlier in the Spring - a flower that started blooming in December and is still blooming in March or one that started in February and ended in May? Don't know the answer to that one either.

So, Mr. Smarty Plants is going to ignore those possibilities and search in our Native Plant Database for herbs and forbs (herbaceous blooming flowers), Missouri and January for bloom time. Here is how to do that: Go to our Native Plant Database, scroll down that page to Combination Search. Using that, select on Missouri for the state, herbs for Habit and January for Bloom Time. Click on the "Submit Combination Search" box and you will get a list of flowers that fit your criteria.

Using that search criteria, we got 15 results; however, 3 of those did not show up on the USDA Plant Profle Map as growing in the St. Louis area. Also of that number, 5 showed that they can bloom from January to December. You can always repeat the search, using other months as the first month of Spring.

Allium stellatum (Autumn onion) - blooms January to December

Claytonia virginica (Virginia springbeauty) - blooms January to May

Corallorhiza wisteriana (Spring coralroot) - blooms January to July

Eclipta prostrata (False daisy) - blooms January to December

Eclipta prostrata (False daisy) - bloom January to December

Equisetum hyemale (Canuela)- blooms January to December

Erigenia bulbosa (Harbinger of spring) - blooms January to May

Froelichia gracilis (Slender snakecotton) - blooms Janury to December

Phytolacca americana var. americana (American pokeweed) - blooms January to December

Taraxacum officinale (Common dandelion) - blooms January to December

 

From the Image Gallery


Autumn onion
Allium stellatum

Virginia springbeauty
Claytonia virginica

Spring coralroot
Corallorhiza wisteriana

Pie plant
Eclipta prostrata

Scouringrush horsetail
Equisetum hyemale var. affine

Harbinger of spring
Erigenia bulbosa

Slender snakecotton
Froelichia gracilis

American pokeweed
Phytolacca americana var. americana

Common dandelion
Taraxacum officinale

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower seed for west central Texas acreage
June 06, 2005 - We have a ranch in central Texas between Brownwood and Brady and want to plant wildflowers that will grow in that area. We'd like to cover acreage and need information on what mix would suit our are...
view the full question and answer

What happened to the bluebonnets?
June 09, 2008 - I was wondering if you could tell me why there weren't any bluebonnets out this year? I live in the Hill Country and drive to Austin everyday. I look forward to seeing the bluebonnets up and down the...
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012 - Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of maroon flower taking over bluebonnets
April 14, 2008 - there is a maroon colored flowering weed at my ranch in Oakwood Texas. It is taking over the bluebonnets and indian paint brushes. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it.
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers tolerant of lower water and lots of sun
April 17, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas and have a small bed in the front of the house which faces the east with no shade. I am not much of a yard person so would like to plant some Native plants that don't need a lo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center