First Annual Missouri 2021 Botanists Big Year Winners

GRAND PRIZE – Most research grade species of plants-
1st place – (637) Rick Gray
2nd – (431) Joanna Reuter
3rd – (304) Kathy Bildner
4th – (293) Jared Gorrell
5th – (271) Pam Barnabee 

The Explorer – Most observations overall (1,090) – Joanna Reuter
The GrassMaster – Most research grade Poaceae (50) – Rick Gray
The FiddleHead – Most research grade Polypodiopsida (42) – Thomas Koffel
The Compositor – Most research grade Asteraceae (126) – Joanna Reuter
The SedgeHead – Most research grade Cyperaceae (86) – Rick Gray
The Traveller – Farthest spread across Missouri – James Faupel
The Northerner – Farthest spread across Northern Missouri – Joanna Reuter
The Southerner – Farthest spread across Southern Missouri – Nathan Aaron
Most observed flowering plant (42 specimens) – Viola pedata, bird’s foot violet
Most observed non-flowering plant (42 specimens) – Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas fern

Top Identifiers of Plants in Need-
1st place – (1,749) Lee Elliott
2nd – (1,392) Cal Maginel
3rd – (1,061) Norman Murray
4th – (866) Claire Ciafre
5th – (394) Rick Gray

2021’s Missouri Botanist Big Year’s reach across the state

Nativar Position Statememt

The Missouri Native Plant Society was founded to promote the enjoyment, preservation, conservation, restoration, and study of the flora native to Missouri.

To uphold these values, we oppose the use of cultivars derived from native species, called “Nativars”. These horticultural derivatives are genetically detrimental to truly wild species because through cross pollination, subsequent generations may have incorrect bloom color, bloom time, and nutritional requirements for insects, birds, and mammals who rely on them to flourish.

Please obtain your native plants from growers that produce plants responsibly from local seed sources to avoid ecological decline.

MONPS Awards

1) Plant Stewardship: Jeff Cantrell

Jeff has been an advisor for the Missouri Master Naturalist (MMN) Chert Glades chapter since helping establish the group in 2005 and also assists with the Lake of the Ozarks chapter. He donates the majority of the MMN advisor workload as a volunteer, allowing him to devote his full work schedule to his conservation educator job. Advising these and other public groups, he directs several stewardship projects each year for Missouri State Parks, Corps of Engineer, and Mark Twain Forest public lands near Cassville and Shell Knob. Of particular significance is his work at Chute Ridge near Roaring River Conservation Area and Big Sugar Creek State Park.

Beyond those special projects, Jeff conducts garlic mustard pulls in Barry County and highlights star of Bethlehem as a problem exotic species at special event share tables at George Washington Carver National Monument and at the annual Dogwood Festival in Neosho, Missouri. For Naturescaping classes (pre-pandemic with live audiences), Jeff made freshly-cut displays of invasive burning bush, privet, bush honeysuckle, and other exotics local to the site where the classes were taught and offered native planting solutions to fit that landscaping niche. These are just a few of the examples of what Jeff tackles as a volunteer and the teamwork he puts together for our public contact areas and regional natural communities. He is a longstanding member of Arkansas and Missouri Native Plant Societies, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, and other nature place-based non-profit organizations. Our native plants and world benefit from his stewardship efforts.

2) Top Facebook Administrator Recognition

Awarded to seven individuals for their exceptional efforts in managing the MONPS Facebook page: Michelle Bowe, Andrew Braun, Brian Edmond, Susan Farrington, Jeff Nelson, John Oliver, and Deb Tyler. Thank you for your diligence!

Rabbit Tobacco

My neighbor’s husband has covid and was weathering it out at home but very very sick. One day she asked me if she could borrow some of my rabbit tobacco to make a tea for her hubby. I gladly gave her a bundle. A week later she told me the tea had really helped him.
Yesterday when I was driving back from a family thing in IA my throat was burning and I was sure i was going to need antibiotics. But I made a tea out of the leaves and flowers and also burned a batch and inhaled the smoke. Today I am so much better I cant hardly believe it!

I am so thankful I learned how to find and identify Rabbit Tobacco on my MONPS field trips.

Casey Burks

Osage Plains Chapter

Missouri Native Plant Society is a member of the Grow Native! program


The Missouri Native Plant Society is a proud member of the Grow Native! program! This program is operated by the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization and provides resources to help gardeners, farm owners, land care professionals, and planners use native plants in the built environment and altered landscapes in the lower Midwest for multiple benefits. Grow Native! also administers the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP), a multi-organizational and multi-agency group with the goal of bringing greater statewide attention on early detection and control of invasive plants.

Do you want some easy and fun facts about native plants?

Of course you do! Check out the fact sheets we have about native plants and other topics. Here you’ll find information about Missouri ecotypes, native plants, gardening, landscaping, and how to avoid the nasty non-natives. If you have an idea for a fact sheet you’d like to see added, let us know!

If you just can’t get enough here, try the Wild Ones for even more information:

  • Landscaping with Native Plants
  • Monarch Matters
  • Publications

Bringing Nature Home

Bringing Nature Home

Are you looking for a gift for that person in your life who is on the cusp of becoming a native plant enthusiast? There is no doubt that it’s difficult to convince people to plant natives so insects can eat them! Isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid, they’ll say? Look no further than Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home. In particular, Tallamy makes the case that the birds that so many people enjoy absolutely depend on native plants to raise the insects and spiders needed to raise their young. It’s an easy and compelling read and has convinced me to put as much of our farm as possible in natives of some kind.