Missouri has been experiencing drought-like conditions for several months, but despite that, one flower commonly seen across the Show-Me State appears to be faring just fine.

Maddie Est, Media Specialist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, has the forecast of what Missouri’s sunflower bloom is expected to look like.

“We’re kind of looking at maybe some smaller flowers and a shorter bloom as an impact on the fields themselves,” said Est. “Sunflowers can be really massive, but what we’re expecting this year is probably some smaller flowers. A shorter bloom period. We will have one, though.”

If the plants are stressed from the drought and hot temperatures, they may be somewhat smaller than previous years and could shift their blooming a little earlier and end a bit sooner.

“A lot of our native flowers are still flowering,” according to Est. “That’s why they’re native, they really like Missouri and so they’re doing pretty well. In other cases, more sensitive plants might not be doing the best that they could, but that’s just kind of what happens with seasonal variability.”

Missouri’s sunflower fields are popular for dove hunters, photographers, and nature hunters, but one thing to keep in mind is to leave the sunflowers alone.

“Be respectful of nature,” said Est. “You know, leave it in a better state than you found it and with that, again, we want the sunflowers or other wildflowers to feed into the ecosystem. I know it’s tempting to take them with you, but we ask that folks just leave them there. Take your photos. Enjoy it. Spend your time, and respect it.”

Sunflowers take about 60 days from planting to flowering.

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