Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Beautiful signs of Ozarks spring

Eastern redbud.
Flowering dogwood.
 In April, the Ozarks hills turn white, not with snow (usually, but sometimes), but with the white blossoms of the flowering dogwood.
It's been our state tree since June of 1955.
The botanical name is Cornus florida, and it is native to Missouri. The four white petals are actually bracts. The true flowers are the little green doodads that are grouped in clusters.
These trees are beautiful signs of spring.
Another sign of spring, one with overlapping blooming period with the flowering dogwood, is the Eastern redbud.
It also is a natural Missouri tree, and it has its own beauty. A drive through an Ozarks forest with hillsides full of the dogwood and redbud blooming before the full leafing of the oak and hickory trees is a great way to pass a Sunday afternoon.
Cercis canadensis is the botanical name. Magenta flowers appear in clusters on the branches before the leaves.
It's a beauty, too, and it grows easily. We have two volunteers in our yard.

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