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  An OMW "How To Spot" Presentation
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It is More Than Wildflowers
Driving down country roads looking for wildflowers takes you into the real Ozark Mountains. Scenery, things historical, and friendly locals hanging out at Mom & Pop cafes and country stores are part of the fun. You'll also stand an excellent change of spotting wildlife and birds of prey while looking for wildflowers. Photographers find a broad range of subjects from macro to landscape. Old barns, hayfields, and cattle ranches from large to small populate the Ozark uplands along most country roads. You'll also drive through classic Ozark Oak-Hickory-Pine forests, see limestone and dolomite rock bluffs, and even a few sink holes.

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

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Toothwort (Cardamine rhomboidea)
The toothwort most likely takes it name from the plant's saw-toothed leaves. Flowers can be white, pinkish, or lavender, and will be about 1/2 inch long. This early bloomer flowers from late February through May. It requires damp slopes in woodlands or on streams. Moisture and shade do not have to be heavy, but must be present in moderate amounts as the Toothwort usually does not thrive in full sun.


crows foot buttercup
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Crow's Foot Buttercup ( Rannunculus spp.)
Some 24 species of Buttercup grow in the Ozarks. Telling them apart can be a daunting task! This is the first flower to appear each spring.   They appear in a number of forms from single plants to clusters of up to 8.   Shape and number of pedals will vary, but most look like the one above. Colonies covering large areas are not uncommon. The  name comes from the shape of the leaves. The blossom is very shinny as if coated in wax. This plant is a major food source for bees and other insects attempting to survive during cool spring weather.


wild plum
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Wild Plum (Prunus americana)
Not a wildflower, but a small tree, the Wild Plum is the first woody plant to bloom in the Ozark spring. It grows up to 20 feet tall, but most are in the 10 to 12 foot height range. There are frequently many trunks, branches, and shoots which can form thickets. The plums are ripe about mid June or July. The Chickasaw Plum and Big Tree Plum are also common in the Ozarks and bloom at the same time as the Wild Plum. All three trees look alike and it takes a little practice to tell them apart. The Wild Plum has a wonderful fragrance, but if you put your nose in the blossom it smells like a wet chicken. Stand back and let the scent drift to you.


spring beauty
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Spring Beauty ( Claytonia virginica )
Another tough little spring flower that is most commonly found in lawns and other open areas. The amount of pink veins in the pedals varies considerably from very heavy to almost none. The above is average. Colonies numbering in the hundreds are common.


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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.