30 Stunning Native Missouri Flowers and Plants

Missouri is home to a wide range of stunning flowers and plants. The Show-Me State really shows off in summer thanks to swathes of wildflowers appearing on plains and along roadsides. In this article, we’ll explore 30 stunning Missouri native flowers and plants.

Stunning Native Missouri Flowers and Plants

Missouri Native Range & Growing Zones

Missouri is a Midwestern state with several diverse habitats for flowers and plants. Missouri’s Northern Plains is a haven for wildflowers like black-eyed Susan and purple coneflower. In the south, the Ozark Mountains provide a highland ecosystem. Southeastern Missouri is part of an alluvial plain with warm, humid conditions.

Missouri’s different climates correspond to USDA Growing Zones 5b to 7. Most of Missouri has a Zone 6 climate, although northern Missouri experiences Zone 5b. Southern Missouri’s climate corresponds to Zones 7a and 7b.

How are Missouri’s Native Flowers Defined

Missouri’s native flowers are generally defined as plants that grew in Missouri before the arrival of European settlers. Many of Missouri’s native flowers were used as food and medicine by Native American cultures. Remember that many flowers found in Missouri may be naturalized species that are actually non-native.


30 Types of Native Missouri Flowers:


1) Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Black-eyed Susan is a perennial wildflower from the aster family (Asteraceae). They thrive on Missouri’s plains and roadsides and grow in Zones 3 to 7. Black-eyed Susan produces bright yellow flowers with dark brown centers from summer to fall. Native Americans used black-eyed Susan flowers medicinally, and the roots are still used to make tea today.

Scientific Name:Rudbeckia hirta
Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

2) Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)

Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Blue vervain is a herbaceous perennial that thrives in wet habitats. They come from the verbena family (Verbenaceae) and is found throughout Missouri. However, it rarely grows in the Ozark Mountains.

Blue vervain produces tall spikes of blue flowers from July until September. It grows best in Zones 3 to 8 and reaches up to 6 feet tall.

Scientific Name:Verbena hastata
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 6 feet

3) Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Butterfly weed is a tuberous perennial from the milkweed genus (Asclepias) in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). They grow in prairies and woodlands throughout Missouri. In summer, butterfly weed produces orange to yellow flowers.

Butterfly weed flowers attract butterflies and are important food plants for monarch butterfly larvae. Butterfly weed doesn’t produce milky sap like other milkweeds.

Scientific Name:Asclepias tuberosa
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 2.5 feet

4) Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Cardinal flowers produce beautiful red tubular flowers from July until September. These herbaceous perennials come from the bellflower family (Campanulaceae). Cardinal flowers prefer growing near water sources such as lakes and river banks.

These flowers were used medicinally by Native Americans but may be toxic. Cardinal flowers grow best in Zones 3 to 9.

Scientific Name:Lobelia cardinalis
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 4 feet

5) Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Common milkweed is a herbaceous perennial from the dogbane family that thrives in Missouri’s fields and plains. Common milkweed produces clusters of small pink, mauve, or white flowers with five petals.

These plants can spread quickly using underground rhizomes. The stems produce a milky sap that may cause skin irritation. Common milkweed is an important food plant for monarch butterfly larvae.

Scientific Name:Asclepias syriaca
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

6) Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobaea)

Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobaea) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Foxglove penstemon is one of Missouri’s most beautiful native flowers. These herbaceous perennials grow in clumps on plains and in rocky areas, especially in the Ozarks. Foxglove penstemons produce purple flowers with white markings that resemble foxgloves.

Foxglove penstemon flower spikes are in full bloom in May. They come from the beardtongue (Penstemon) genus within the plantain family (Plantaginaceae).

Scientific Name:Penstemon cobaea
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 1.5 feet

7) Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)

Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) are beautiful native missouri flowers and plants

Golden Alexanders are attractive herbaceous perennials from the carrot family (Apiaceae). They produce flat-topped umbels covered with small yellow flowers. Golden Alexanders grow in Missouri’s woodland glades and meadows.

Golden Alexanders are popular with butterflies and hoverflies thanks to their accessible flowers. They’re also essential food plants for Missouri woodland swallowtail butterfly larvae.

Scientific Name:Zizia aurea
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Mid-spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1.5 to 3 feet

8) Smooth Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata)

Smooth Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Smooth ironweed is an upright herbaceous perennial from the daisy family (Asteraceae). It thrives in wetlands and prairies in northern and western Missouri. These plants produce tall stems topped with clusters of purple flowers.

Smooth ironweed has smooth leaves and stems, hence its common name. The seeds and fading flowers have a rusty color similar to iron.

Scientific Name:Vernonia fasciculata
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 4 feet

9) Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Jacob’s ladder is a herbaceous perennial from the Polemoniaceae family. These wildflowers grow in moist woodlands and river banks across Missouri. These plants self-seeds prolifically, spreading throughout its habitat.

Jacob’s ladder produces panicles of pale blue bell-shaped flowers at the end of weak, soft stems. These woodland wildflowers bloom from April to June.

Scientific Name:Polemonium reptans
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 1.5 feet

10) Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Also known as kingcups, marsh marigolds are small, clump-forming herbaceous perennials from the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). These attractive flowers grow in wet, boggy areas around the fringes of ponds.

Marsh marigolds produce bright yellow flowers from April to June in Zones 3 to 7. The rounded, peltate leaves are edible once boiled.

Scientific Name:Caltha palustris
Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1 to 1.5 feet

11) Missouri Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)

Missouri Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)

Also known as Ozark sundrops, Missouri evening primroses grow in rocky areas and mountain glades in the Ozarks. These herbaceous perennials produce large yellow flowers with four petals from May until August. Each flower can be up to 5 inches wide and produces a subtle scent. However, each flower only lasts for a single day.

Scientific Name:Oenothera macrocarpa
Growing Zones:3 to 7
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:Up to 18 inches

12) New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

New England asters are one of North America’s most recognizable wildflowers. These herbaceous perennials come from the Asteraceae family. These flowers grow in meadows and prairies across Missouri.

New England asters are clump-forming plants with purple daisy-like flowers and yellow central florets. The stems and lanceolate leaves are covered in hairs.

Scientific Name:Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Late summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:1 to 4 feet

13) Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)

Prairie coneflowers are bright, tall wildflowers found in Missouri’s woodlands and prairies. Also known as gray-headed coneflowers, these herbaceous perennials come from the daisy family (Asteraceae). They thrive in Zones 3 to 8.

Prairie coneflowers have large flowers with bright yellow petals and central gray cones. The petals point downwards and can be up to 3 inches long.

Scientific Name:Ratibida pinnata
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 5 feet

14) Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple coneflowers are one of North America’s most iconic wildflowers. These wildflowers thrive on Missouri’s plains and grasslands and in the Ozarks. These plants have tall, upright stems bearing flowers with purple petals and orange-brown central cones.

Purple coneflowers were important medicinal plants in Native American societies. These plants were used to treat burns, colds, and other ailments.

Scientific Name:Echinacea purpurea
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 5 feet

15) Fame Flower (Phemeranthus calycinus)

Fame Flower (Phemeranthus calycinus)

Fame flowers are elegant herbaceous perennials from the montia family (Montiaceae). Fame flowers are also known as rock pinks. These wildflowers grow in glades and rocky areas across Missouri.

Fame flowers produce pink flowers with hints of red or purple in July. Each flower has five petals and prominent stamens topped with yellow anthers. The leaves are thin and succulent-like.

Scientific Name:Phemeranthus calycinus
Growing Zones:5 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:8 to 12 inches

16) Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)

Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)

Wild petunias are beautiful wildflowers native to most parts of Missouri. Wild petunias are herbaceous perennials from the acanthus family (Acanthaceae). They thrive in grasslands, prairies, and woodland glades.

Wild petunias produce gorgeous lavender or lilac bell-shaped tubular flowers from May until October. Each flower opens in the morning before dropping off in the evening.

Scientific Name:Ruellia humilis
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Late spring to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1.5 to 2 feet

17) Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia)

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia)

Shooting stars are herbaceous perennials from the primrose family (Primulaceae). These plants produce clusters of elegant nodding white, pink, or purple flowers on top of upright stems. Each flower has five petals that are swept back and several yellow stamens.

These attractive blooms resemble a shooting star falling through the sky. Shooting stars thrive in prairies, woodlands, and rocky slopes across Missouri.

Scientific Name:Dodecatheon meadia
Growing Zones:4 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:8 to 20 inches

18) Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)

Showy goldenrod is a spectacular flowering perennial native to Missouri. Showy goldenrod produces panicles of small, showy yellow flowers from July until September. Each panicle can hold up to 300 individual flowers.

Showy goldenrod thrives in prairies and woodland areas across Missouri but doesn’t grow in the Ozarks. It grows best in full sun and well-draining, nutrient-poor soils.

Scientific Name:Solidago speciosa
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

19) Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis)

Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis)

Also known as smooth beardtongue, smooth penstemon is a perennial wildflower from the plantain family. The stems hold several panicles of tubular white flowers with five petals. The flowers bloom from April until June.

Smooth penstemon grows along roadsides, railway tracks, and in prairies and woodlands across Missouri. The beautiful flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators.

Scientific Name:Penstemon digitalis
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring to summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 5 feet

20) Wild Senna (Senna marilandica)

Wild Senna (Senna marilandica)

Wild senna is an attractive member of the legume family (Fabaceae) native to Missouri. These herbaceous perennials grow in meadows and woodlands throughout Missouri. Wild senna prefers moist soils in Zones 4 to 9.

Wild senna produces tall stems with alternating branches of pinnate leaves. Clusters of yellow flowers similar to sweet peas also emerge from the stems.

Scientific Name:Senna marilandica
Growing Zones:4 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 6 feet

21) Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Swamp milkweed is another member of the Asclepias genus native to Missouri. As its name suggests, swamp milkweed thrives in boggy wetlands and swamps. These clump-forming herbaceous perennials provide nectar and food for butterflies and their larvae.

Swamp milkweed produces umbels of small, scented pink flowers from July until August. Swamp milkweed stems have a milky sap that can cause skin irritation.

Scientific Name:Asclepias incarnata
Growing Zones:3 to 6
Flowering Season:Summer
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:3 to 4 feet

22) Missouri Coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

Missouri Coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

Missouri coneflowers are some of the Show-Me State’s showiest wildflowers. These herbaceous perennial flowers come from the daisy family. Missouri coneflowers grow in limestone glades within the Ozark Mountains.

Missouri coneflowers have large bright yellow flowers with several long petals. The flowers also have dark brown central florets. Missouri coneflowers bloom from June until October.

Scientific Name:Rudbeckia missouriensis
Growing Zones:5 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

23) Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia bluebells are some of Missouri’s most beautiful native woodland wildflowers. These bluebells come from the borage family (Boraginaceae). Virginia bluebells grow in moist, shady woodlands and floodplains across Missouri.

Virginia bluebells produce clusters of nodding trumpet-shaped flowers on arching stems. The unopened buds are pink but turn blue as the flowers open. These bluebells bloom from March until April.

Scientific Name:Mertensia virginica
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:1.5 to 2 feet

24) Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Also known as bee balm, wild bergamot is a perennial wildflower from the mint family (Lamiaceae). Wild bergamot produces large, crown-like clusters of fragrant tubular flowers from July until September.

Wild bergamot attracts many pollinators, including bees and butterflies, thanks to its strong fragrance. It grows in rocky woodlands and prairies across Missouri.

Scientific Name:Monarda fistulosa
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 4 feet

25) Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Also known as woodland phlox, wild blue phlox is a low-growing perennial from the Polemoniaceae family. Wild blue phlox has bluish-pink flowers with five petals. The flowers release a pleasant fragrance.

Wild blue phlox grows in moist deciduous woodlands and fields throughout Missouri. Wild blue phlox also has lance-shaped leaves and hairy, sticky stems.

Scientific Name:Phlox divaricata
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:12 to 15 inches

26) Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Wild columbine is a beautiful perennial wildflower from the buttercup family. Wild columbines are known for their nodding bell-shaped bright red flowers. Each tubular flower has five noticeable spurs at the rear and prominent clusters of yellow stamens.

Wild columbine thrives on rocky woodland slopes across Missouri. The flexible stems also have three-pointed, fern-like leaves.

Scientific Name:Aquilegia canadensis
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 3 feet

27) Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Wild geraniums are attractive herbaceous perennials from the Geraniaceae family. These clump-forming wildflowers thrive in moist, shady woodlands across Missouri. Wild geraniums flower between April and May.

Wild geraniums have cup-shaped pinkish-purple flowers with five petals. The dark green palmate leaves have either five or seven distinctive lobes. Wild geraniums grow best in Zones 3 to 8.

Scientific Name:Geranium maculatum
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Full sun to partial shade
Mature Height:1.5 to 2 feet

28) Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) are beautiful native missouri flowers and plants

Despite its common name, wild ginger is unrelated to the ginger used in cooking. Instead, wild ginger is a herbaceous perennial from the birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae). It thrives in woodland areas and forested slopes throughout Missouri.

Wild ginger has kidney-shaped leaves and grows in clumps. Wild ginger has purplish-brown flowers with three triangular sepals. The stems are hairy, and the roots produce a similar scent to culinary ginger.

Scientific Name:Asarum canadense
Growing Zones:4 to 6
Flowering Season:Spring
Light Requirements:Partial to full shade
Mature Height:Up to 12 inches

29) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Woodland sunflowers are perennial flowering herbs from the aster family. These sunflowers like dry, shady woodland habitats and are mainly found in eastern Missouri. Woodland sunflowers bloom from July until September.

Woodland sunflowers produce bright yellow blooms with yellow central florets on the end of smooth, upright stems. Each flower can grow up to 2 inches wide.

Scientific Name:Helianthus divaricatus
Growing Zones:3 to 8
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:2 to 6 feet

30) Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) are beautiful native missouri flowers

Also known as smooth hydrangeas, wild hydrangeas are deciduous flowering shrubs from the Hydrangeaceae family. Wild hydrangeas grow on rocky woodland slopes throughout Missouri.

Wild hydrangeas have round, dark green leaves and tall, upright stems. These hydrangeas produce flat-topped clusters of tiny white flowers from June until September. Each flower cluster can be up to 6 inches wide.

Scientific Name:Hydrangea arborescens
Growing Zones:3 to 9
Flowering Season:Summer to fall
Light Requirements:Partial shade
Mature Height:3 to 5 feet

Missouri Native Flowers FAQs:

What is Missouri’s State Flower?

Missouri’s state flower is the hawthorn blossom (Crataegus genus). Although official legislation doesn’t specify a particular color, white hawthorn blossom is often used. It was named the official state flower in 1923.

What Flowers is Missouri Known for?

Missouri is known for its state flower – the hawthorn blossom. Missouri is also known for wildflowers including Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa) and Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis).

Can You Pick Wildflowers in Missouri?

It’s illegal to pick wildflowers on public lands in Missouri. Prohibited areas include state parks, highways, and roadsides. Missouri wildflowers can be picked from private land with the landowner’s permission.

Where Can I Find Native Flowers in Missouri?

Missouri’s native flowers can be found in various habitats throughout the state. Many native wildflowers spring up along roadsides throughout the year.


Wrapping Up

Missouri’s diverse habitats provide the perfect ecosystems for a stunning range of flowers. Throughout the summer, Missouri enjoys native wildflowers like black-eyed Susan and prairie coneflowers. Missouri’s woodland regions are home to wild columbines and wild geraniums. Missouri’s state wildflower is the beautiful hawthorn blossom.


Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *