Flora and fauna

Representative trees of Missouri include the shortleaf pine, scarlet oak, smoke tree, pecan (Carya illinoensis), and peachleaf willow, along with species of tupelo, cottonwood, cypress, cedar, and dogwood (the state tree). American holly, which once flourished in the southeastern woodlands, is now considered rare; various types of wild grasses proliferate in the northern plains region. Missouri's state flower is the hawthorn blossom; other wild flowers include Queen Anne's lace, meadow rose, and white snakeroot. Showy and small white lady's slipper, green adder's-mouth, purslane, corn salad, dotted monardo, and prairie white-fringed orchid are rare in Missouri. Among the eight threatened or endangered plants listed in 2003 were the decurrent false aster, running buffalo clover, pondberry, Missouri bladderpod, and western prairie fringed orchid.

Indigenous mammals are the common cottontail, muskrat, white-tailed deer, and gray and red foxes. The state bird is the bluebird; other common birds are the cardinal, solitary vireo, and the prothonotary warbler. A characteristic amphibian is the plains leopard frog; native snakes include garter, ribbon, and copperhead. Bass, carp, perch, jack salmon (walleye), and crayfish abound in Missouri's waters. The chigger, a minute insect, is a notorious pest.

In 2003, 17 species were listed as threatened or endangered in Missouri, including three species of bat (Ozark big-eared, gray, and Indiana), bald eagle, pallid sturgeon, gray wolf, and three varieties of mussel.