And to think I almost missed this to sleep in…A couple of weeks ago I woke up before dawn to go see the sunflowers fields near St. Louis. A bit bleary eyed, I questioned whether I really needed to get up when it was still dark outside to see some giant yellow flowers. But when I finally stepped into the field, I was mesmerized by the rows of hundreds of sunflowers before me bathing the area in vibrant strokes of gold.
When to See the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area Sunflowers
Normally Columbia Bottom Conservation Area sunflowers are visible the first two weeks of July; but now you may see them through mid-August. This year the Missouri Department of Conservation Wildlife staff utilized a new sunflower planting strategy, staggering the timing of the plantings to extend the sunflower season.
Fun Facts You Never Knew About Sunflowers
- Once planted, it takes about 60 days for sunflowers to bloom.
- They are from the same plant family as daisies.
- Inside each flower is a dark brown disk that holds hundreds of small flowers, each with its own petals and reproductive parts.
- The golden outer rays around the brown disks are separate flowers rather than petals.
- Sunflower seeds offer great nutrition for birds and wildlife, particularly doves in Missouri.
Where to Find the Sunflower Fields Near St. Louis
The Sunflower fields near St. Louis are located at the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in North St. Louis County at 801 Strodtman Road. This particular field is close to the Visitor Center and is marked with a giant sunflower sign on the adjacent road. The area is open daily from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.
Photos taken by Mattea Linea.