With the early blooming of spring and summer wildflowers this year, several were wondering whether fall wildflowers would follow the same track and bloom two to three weeks early, leaving us with nothing but fuzzy aster seeds in October. In mid-October, I'm happy to report that even in the areas hit on the nose by the drought this summer, the fall wildflowers are at their peak.
The composites steal the limelight each fall in the Ozarks, what with all the woodland goldenrods and asters, the glade plants like Rudbeckia missouriensis and Silphium terebinthinaceum. It's especially nice to see fully blooming ice cream plants like Aster laevis that haven't been clipped by deer. Granted, with all the sugar maples in some of the Ozarks woods, fall color driving tours in parts of the Ozarks offer stunning vistas this year, but I'll take fall hikes in clement weather in good woods and glades with wildflower diversity over a long drive anyday.