Valley Water Mill Plant Catalog

Valley Water Mill Plant Catalog

The Origins of the Valley Water Mill Plant Cataloging Project

by Linda S. Ellis
Springfield Plateau Master Naturalist

In the fall of 2011, I took the training classes provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation and became a member of the Master Naturalist volunteer force.  Every trainee is asked to undertake a Capstone project to aid conservation causes in our area and I chose to create a plant catalog for the 70-acre park.

The cataloging team began in the fall of 2011 and walked the trails once a month between the end of March and first frost.  I had created a basic plant list for a “Together Green” event at Valley Water Mill a number of years ago so we started with that and began to add to it.  By October, 2016, the team has visited the park on 17 occassions and to date have cataloged 399 species of herbaceous forbs, shrubs, woody vines and trees.

Many people have been involved in this effort in the Plateau chapter.  The Watershed Committee would like to thank the following Master Naturalists for participating:

Kathryn Boone, Linda Bower, Mark Bower, Christine Chiu, Stephanie Davidson, Linda Ellis, Carl Haworth, Jesse Haworth, Sue Helm, Sharon Hughes, Shelly Jones, David Ketchum, Barb Kipfer, Bob Kipfer, Debbie Lewis, Mary McCarthy, Marilyn Owen, Bob Ranney, Alane Roy, Marlyss Simmons, & Patricia Tursi

Our efforts were encouraged by Rob Hunt, former Watershed Center Coordinator and Mike Kromrey, Director of the Watershed committee.

A special thanks to Dr. Michelle Bowe, professor of botany at Missouri State University for her contributions to plant identification and to her student, Dr. Jeremy Keene.  Thanks, also, to Dr. Ioana Popescu, plant biologist at Drury college, for bio-blitz contributions.

To identify and learn more about non-native species and control methods, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website:

Native Plant Recommendations for Missouri Gardeners

Here is a list of 12 native plant species that are recommended for home gardeners in southwest Missouri. The list is arranged by blooming dates so something will be coming into flower each month if you plant them all. Native plants have evolved here and are accustomed to our seasons. They are usually drought tolerant, don’t need pampering, and are nectar sources for butterflies and hummingbirds.

By Linda S. Ellis
Springfield Plateau Master Naturalist