Besides the chirping of birds and joyous shouts of children, how do we know it is spring in Missouri? The beautiful flowering trees, of course! The “show-me” state has an abundance of gorgeous and aromatic flowers in the springtime, but the blooming native trees put on the most spectacular show of them all. If you’re putting together your spring planting list, consider the following three native tree varieties to add a bit of floral elegance to your property!
Cornus florida is a simple species of Dogwood with a surprising twist. This tree generally grows up to 33 feet tall, providing ample shade and windblock for residential areas. The flowers are what gives this species it’s name and popularity: groups of inconspicuous yellow-green buds will grace the branches each spring, only to be replaced by stunningly vibrant red fruits in the fall. The flowering dogwood is a classic Missouri native that will put on a show all year round.
Hailing from the same family as the custard-apple, sweetsop, and ylang-ylang, the Pawpaw (Asimina) provides the largest edible fruit indigenous to the continent. The name is often considered to be a derivative of “papaya”, because of the visual similarity of the fruits. The leaves begin to come around in April, bringing with them large, beautiful red-purple flowers. Although this variety isn’t very pleasant smelling, planting this native tree will add a touch of the tropics to your Missouri home.
Hawthorns have a natural presence in almost every county of Missouri, making this tree the perfect hardy candidate for homeowners who want to avoid the bulk of routine tree maintenance. The Hawthorn’s flowers are so beautiful that they have been adopted as the Missouri state flower. The fruits are certain to attract a variety of cheerful birds.