Flowers and Bees in an Ozark Fen

7/28/2023 | Bennett Spring State Park | Lebanon, MO

An Ozark fen is a wetland fed by groundwater rather than rainfall or surface streams. This habitat hosts a rich array of plants, which in turn support a variety of bees. Some of these bees are specialized to feed on only one type of plant, while others are generalists that feed on multiple species.

The relationship between plants and bees is mutually beneficial: They depend on and are affected by one another. Understanding this relationship, and the importance of each side, will allow for a better understanding of the role of Bennett Spring State Park, and its fen, as a nature preserve.

At 11 a.m. in the nature center, park staff will present a brief slideshow about bees and flowers. This will be followed by a 1-mile guided hike on Whistle Trail. The trail travels along the spring, goes up a bluff, heads back down, and ends at the historic wooden bridge near the Niangua River. Along the way, the naturalist will discuss karst topography and the park's fen, and participants will have opportunities to observe flowers and bees. Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes that are appropriate for hiking.

During the event, hikers should keep an eye out for the following flowers that will be in bloom:

  • Wild bergamot
  • Violet wood sorrel
Event Time: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Bennett Spring State Park is located at:

26250 Highway 64A, Lebanon, MO | 417-532-4338

Associated activities

  • Hiking
  • Interpretive Programs