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Selecting Missouri Wildflowers

The Missouri native gardening trend continues to gain steam as gardeners discover its many benefits. Adapted to Missouri’s particular and unique climate, Missouri wildflowers easily create luscious gardens overflowing with blossoms. Missouri wildflowers are tolerant of rapid weather changes, cold snaps, heat waves, drought, and whatever else Mother Nature throws at us.

Missouri Native Plant Guide

To create a successful Missouri native garden, see our Missouri Native Plant Guide.

Missouri native prairie plants are excellent choices for sunny sites. Tolerating poor soils and requiring little to no fertilization for their establishment and success, Missouri wildflowers, along with Missouri native grasses, can create gardens bursting with color and texture. Purple Poppy Mallow’s delightful magenta blooms appear all summer. The crowd favorite Missouri Primrose gets rave reviews for its huge lemon yellow blossoms. To attract butterflies you’ll want to grow the Milkweeds. These host plants for Monarch butterflies entice many species of butterflies and moths. The brilliant orange Butterfly Milkweed thrives in sunny areas with average soil.

Woodland natives prefer moist, rich soils, along with shade. Missouri native ferns and many of our spring ephemerals (they will go dormant in the summer) colonize well. Nothing is more thrilling for a gardener than to see one of the first blossoms of spring, Virginia Bluebells. Easy to grow woodland plants include Mayapples, with umbrella-like large green leaves; Wild Sweet William, a sweetly scented early bloomer with soft blue flowers that are excellent cut; the cherished Missouri wildflower Goat’s Beard with dramatic, 1′ long white, feathery plumes in spring and ferny foliage that looks great all season; and Fairy Candles, a handsome, bushy plant that creates an ethereal show in the shady garden with its long bottle brush and fragrant white flowers that appear in mid to late summer.

A gardener of Missouri wildflowers can have a flourishing flower vase for months on end! The delightful Purple Coneflowers with large pink daisies, and the sunny yellow Black-Eyed Susans make long-lasting cut flowers. In fall, the butterfly favorite Aromatic Aster gets smothered with thousands of sky blue daisy-like blossoms rewarding the gardener with armloads of cut flowers. Even though Aromatic Asters grow nicely in average or even poor soil, they grow best with a shovelful or two of compost.

Missouri wildflowers thrive in difficult and tough spots. For wet areas, the Bluestars with their colorful flowers and foliage work well. Clusters of star-like, light blue flowers appear in late spring. Its narrow, willow-shaped, shiny 6″ leaves turn a brilliant yellow in fall. Prairie grasses and perennials with long tap roots hold up in dry, hot areas. Even though it looks fragile with its graceful, arching thin blades, Prairie Dropseed, a native grass that grows around 15″ inches tall, has a tap root that will grow 4-5′ deep.

Selecting The Right Plants

When selecting Missouri wildflowers for your gardens, it is important to choose plants for your particular situation, taking into consideration light and water requirements, along with other traits. In our Missouri Native Plant Guide you can easily choose plants for your unique garden.

Selecting Missouri Wildflowers 1

Select your Missouri wildflowers by plant characteristics with our Missouri Native Plant Guide.

Light Requirements. Will your plants be in the sun or shade? Many plants need full sun to thrive and bloom well. Full sun is considered 6 hours of direct sun. You may be able to get away with less if the sun light is from the strongest sun of the day, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or so. If the plants are listed in our Missouri Native Plant Guide  as “sun” to “part shade,” they will require at least 4 hours of direct sun. Most shade plants prefer morning sun, then protection from the hot afternoon sun. Dappled light under trees is ideal for many shade plants. Only a few varieties will grow in dark, dense shade. In our Missouri Native Plant Guide, select your light situation from the drop down list under “Light.”

Water Requirements. Like all living creatures, Missouri wildflowers need water to survive. Some need more, and some are very tolerant of drought conditions. Profuse blooming perennials or perennials with big, showy blooms usually need to be kept well watered to keep in top form. Due to our challenging weather situation, know if you select plants with high water needs you will need to irrigate during periods of drought. In our Missouri Native Plant Guide, select your water situation from the dropdown list under “Water Needs.”

Other Considerations. Adored for their luscious blossoms and great versatility, Missouri wildflowers can be used for a multitude of uses. Perhaps you want a cut flower garden with only fragrant flowers, or possibly a garden to attract butterflies. In our Missouri Native Plant Guide select the attributes you want from the drop down list under “Uses.”

A well planned wildflower garden can provide many years of beauty and enjoyment. By carefully selecting your plants, you will have a garden full of color and impact year round.

Select your plants from the Missouri Native Plant Guide here.

Join Abby as she shares a few of our favorite Missouri native plants.


Our offering of Missouri wildflowers have been selected from the very best plants available. We carefully choose our Missouri wildflowers, ensuring you the finest plants. We belong to Missouri groups that support native gardening including the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native!  In our Missouri Native Plant Guide you will discover exceptional and rare Missouri native plants.

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