Lichen Glade


Rock overhang at Lichen Glade Natural Area
Designated as a natural area since
Saint Clair
The Nature Conservancy
Missouri Department of Conservation – Kansas City Regional Office
Contact Phone

Points of Interest:

  • Explore a large expanse of massive sandstone outcrops.
  • Look for the well-camouflaged lichen grasshopper amongst the lichen covered rocks.

Natural Features Description:

This large sandstone glade is formed from Pennsylvanian period sandstones which are 300 million year old marine deposits. Today these glades are dominated by drought adapted lichen and moss species. Conditions are harsh and desert-like. Many of the wildflowers here such as bird’s foot violet and yellow star grass bloom and set seed in the spring prior to the baking conditions of summer. Some sandstone glade species, such as fame flower and prickly pear cactus, store moisture in leaves or stems to survive. The surrounding woodlands and glade is managed with periodic prescribed fire, maintaining the open nature of these communities. Some of the blackjack oaks growing around the glade have been aged at over 130 years.

This natural area is owned by The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has protected over 145,000 acres of critical lands and waters in the state. The Nature Conservancy has been and continues to be a valuable conservation partner in the effort to conserve Missouri’s natural communities. For more information visit the Nature Conservancy website or call 314-968-1105.

Access Info

From the junction of Highways 13 and B north of Osceola, proceed west on Highway B for approximately six miles. The natural area lies north of the road, just before the Salt Creek crossing.


Sandstone Glade at Lichen Glade Natural Area
Sandstone Glade at Lichen Glade Natural Area

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Two large boulders are covered in lichen at Lichen Glade Natural Area.
Lichen-covered boulders at Lichen Glade Natural Area