Missouri Trees with Edible Fruit
There are a considerable variety of different fruit trees which grow in the state of Missouri and each different region has its own distinct zone in which these trees grow. Missouri is a state which experiences all four seasons, with a mild spring, hot summer, mild autumns and sometimes, severe winters. There are many different types of fruit and nut trees found growing wild in the state and in this article, we will be taking a look at the diverse array of Missouri’s native trees.
The Black Walnut tree flowers in April and May and is found in richly wooded areas at the base of slopes, in valleys, along streams and open wooded areas as well. The tree is native to the United States and can be found growing in the wild throughout the state. Growing up to 25 feet in height, the fruit of a Black Walnut is edible, but are not as palate pleasing as the English variety.
The Mayapple is another fruit tree which flowers in March, April and May and can be located in low or open woods, among thickets and by railroad tracks. The tree is native to the United States and the first sighting of these leaves is good indication springtime is approaching, because it is one of the first to bloom. The fruit of a Mayapple develops slowly and ripens in mid-August, the fruit is edible and can be eaten raw, but is much better when cooked.
The state of Missouri is also home to the Wild Plum tree, which is found growing all over the state. The fruit will ripen in midsummer or early fall and tastes and resembles a cherry and can be eaten either raw or made into jelly. The Wild Plum has real value as an ornamental, and has large wand-like branches and is as handsome in winter, as it is in the springtime.
The Chokecherry is a species of bird-cherry tree, which is native to the United States and located all over Missouri. These trees are most commonly found in wet wooded areas and swamps, the berries are cultivated as an ornamental plant and because they are high in antioxidants, are very healthy. The berries of a Chokecherry are inedible when raw, but can be cooked down and made into juice, wine, jam, syrup, tea and tinctures.
Smooth Sumac trees flower in the months of May, June and July and can be found at the openings in woods, along the roadside, in fields, glades and thickets and on upland prairie lands. The shrub tree is found all over Missouri and is very common along railroad tracks and interstate highways. Traditionally, the sap and berries of this tree are boiled and made into tea, but in the past were used to treat asthma, dysentery and diarrhea, while the root was boiled and used as a diuretic.
Black Raspberries are also found growing wild in the state of Missouri and flower in April, May and June. The tree is native to the United States and must be cultivated at different times because of how the berries mature in stages. There are a variety of different uses for the berries which can include jams, pie syrup and tea, or the leaves and fruit can be frozen for future use as well.
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a tree in the ebony wood family and the word literally translates to mean, “The fruit of the gods,” in Greek. Persimmons are packed with vitamin C and calcium and the fruit can be consumed fresh, dried, raw or cooked. In the Missouri Ozarks, folklore holds that the severity of the upcoming winter can be predicted by cutting a persimmon in half and looking at the marks made by the cutlery, though there is no bonafide information proving this works, it’s an interesting tidbit of knowledge.
When wanting to know about the different flowering fruit trees of Missouri and seeing some up close, it is a good idea to go for a walk in the woods and to see what can be found. The woods, fields, and thickets of Missouri offer a vast array of fruit trees and with some basic information, a person can find a delectable variety growing through the spring and summer months.