It’s still early: leaves remain green on nearly all trees around central Missouri. There is little, if any, indication that fall color might come early this year. The severe drought that plagued much of the region this summer will certainly make this year’s fall color season interesting. In years impacted by growing season drought conditions, trees typically tend to turn more rapidly, with leaf color generally duller and browner. But this was not the case in our state after the drought of 2012, when Missourians witnessed incredibly brilliant fall color for much of October. Trees aside, there are wonderful fall wildflowers blooming across mid-Missouri’s natural communities this time of year. Look for the vivid pinkish-purple flowers of rough blazing star and prairie blazing star and the bright yellows of bristly sunflower, ashy sunflower, and stiff goldenrod blooming across the prairies and woodlands of central Missouri.
Fall Color Hot Spots
Marshall I. Diggs Conservation Area is a hot spot for fall wildflower viewing! It is on the boundary of Montgomery and Audrain counties, near Martinsburg. The area includes restored remnant prairies, savannas, and woodlands that each exhibit a diverse array of native grasses and wildflowers. Many of these are blooming now. Take an early fall hike through Diggs CA and experience the beauty of these restored natural communities.