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  An OMW "How To Spot" Presentation
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15 Easy-to-Find Early Spring Wildflowers
by Gary Cooley, OMW

Each page presents four photos with short flower descriptions. Pages take about 30 seconds to load over a 56K connection.

The flower species shown bloom before the trees green up. The photos were all taken one afternoon in the first week of April in Baxter County, Arkansas along a three-mile stretch of gravel road. Each flower was found within 15 feet of the roadside. In the description of each flower you'll see references to what environment the species is typically found. Roads pass through any of the environments given. Look for these different growing conditions along the roadside if you are seeking a specific species. There are more species which bloom in early spring, but these 15 are the most common.

If you would like more details on finding roadside wildflowers read the short article accompanying this photo tour. It's called The Simple Art of Ozark Flower Hunting. It gives helpful tips on what to wear, photography, and preparing for your wildflower drive.


Fall in the Ozarks
our web site dedicated to Ozark Fall Foliage

yellow trout lily
actual size

Yellow Dog-Tooth Violet ( Erythronium rostratum)
The name is taken from the shape of the bulb this perrinal sprouts from each spring. Depending on where you come from you may know this plant as the Yellow Trout Lily. The "trout" comparision relates to the mottled leaves of the plant. The bloom is about 1.5 inches across and about 8 inches above the ground. Large colonies can usually be found along shaded streams, wooded slopes, and in rich woods. The bloom period is rather short, about two weeks.


downy phlox
one-half actual size

Downy Phlox ( Phlox pilosa)
The name is taken from the downy fuzz growing along the stem and leaves. The bloom is a large cluster of smaller blooms growing in a bunch at the very top of the plant, which is typically about 20 inches tall. Color will vary from light pink to medium purple or lavender. The bloom period lasts until around mid July. Several species of Pholx occur in the Ozarks throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Downy Phlox typically occurs in the dry thin soils of rocky or shale openings.


false garlic
3x acutal size

False Garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve)
The name is taken from the similar appearence to true wild garlic. Unlike the real thing, this plant does not have an onion or garlic flavor or odor. It is a small blossom about the size of a dime. They grow in small colonies of around 20 to 100 plants of about 1 foot high or a little less. In some areas this plant is called Crow Poison. They tend to grow in dry rocky soil but may be seen in other soils as well. True garlic and wild onions do occur throughout the Ozarks. Wild onions are one of the first plants to appear in spring and provide tasty treats for the animals, especially bears who eat them by the hundreds. Garlic occurs later in the summer.


pussy toes
2x actual size

Pussy's Toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia)
A favorite with children because of the name, which is taken from the soft furry buds. The photo above shows the flower in bud. At full bloom all the buds open forming a solid greenish white wooly blossum. About 10 inches high you'll find Pussy's Toes in open spots of thin soil. It blooms from April through June.


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Copyright 2002 Gary R. Cooley and the Ozark Mountains Website, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this presentation may be used or reproduced in any manor for any reason without written permission from Ozark Mountains Website, Inc. This includes, but is not limited to, any or all photographs, and any or all text. For use permission phone 870-491-5751. Any party who uses any text, any photographs, or any other part of this presentation without written permission from Ozark Mountains Website, Inc. will be billed a minimum fee of $1,000. Cooley Digital Imaging is a division of Ozark Mountains Website, Inc.