JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Many of Missouri’s native trees and shrubs bloom in spring, putting on dazzling displays that attract wildlife such as birds and pollinators. Flowering spring trees and shrubs can be enjoyed while out in the yard, out on a walk, or even from the indoors while social distancing. In order to make enjoying the outdoors as safe as possible, it’s critical for people to maintain physical distancing, avoid overcrowding and continue handwashing or sanitizing.
The Missouri Department of Conservation reminds us of some of the early bloomers to look for in the next few weeks:
- Serviceberry with clusters of white flowers that appear before other native trees put on leaves, allowing this often-overlooked tree to stand out in wooded areas. When you spot a blooming serviceberry, take note of the location. You can return in early June to enjoy the serviceberry’s delicious, blueberry-like fruits. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/downy-serviceberry
- Spicebush is a small shrub that commonly grows in moist wooded areas and along streams. It produces petite clusters of pale-yellow flowers in early spring. As the host plant of the beautiful spicebush swallowtail butterfly, this shrub makes an attractive, wildlife-friendly addition to home landscaping. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/spicebush
- Redbud is celebrated each spring for the vibrant pink-purple flowers encircling the trees’ leafless branches. Fun fact: Redbud flowers are more than eye candy. They’re edible and make a tasty and colorful addition to salads and desserts! Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/eastern-redbud
- Wild plum produces clusters of delicate white flowers that are visited by several species of bees. This small, thicket-forming tree is common along roadsides, in old fields, and on the edge of woods. Wild plum is a valuable food source for wildlife, but people can also enjoy the small, edible plums that ripen in late summer. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/wild-plum
Wherever the location in Missouri, take time to enjoy the natural beauty of spring-flowering trees and shrubs.
With the current public-health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), Missouri Department of Conservation reminds people to continue to heed recommendations for hand washing, phyiscal distancing, and all other public-health measures during outdoor activities. Find more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on best practices for keeping you and your family safe at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html