Those Instagram-Famous Sunflower Fields Bloom Again Soon in St. Louis


Last year at about this time we all had serious cabin fever. We’d all been locked away in our houses since that March and though we really had no clue what was considered a safe activity during the early days of the pandemic, we were all pretty sure that being outside was fairly low-risk.

This is part of the reason why the sunflower fields at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area (801 Strodtman Road) in Spanish Lake suddenly became a top destination spot in St. Louis. The gorgeous fields became overrun with young women in floaty dresses and floppy hats trying to capture the perfect sunset sunflower selfie.

This was a breath of fresh air in more than one way. Not only was it nice for visitors to have a safe way to get out of the house, it was also nice to see normality return to social media, which had been nothing but bad news and panic for months at that point.

Sometimes you just need some sunflowers in your life. So if you want to experience natural beauty (or capture a highly-filtered selfie for the Gram), dig out your best floaty dress because the sunflower fields are due to return to St. Louis any week now.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says that those famous fields in North St. Louis County will bloom in the area from early July through the middle of August. They’ve done staggered planting this year so that different patches of sunflowers will bloom at different times. Not only will it keep the rush of amateur photographers from crushing the fields, it also means that no matter when you drop by you should be able to see some flowers at their peak.

The sunflower fields didn’t become a sensation until last year, but they’re planted each year as part of management for mourning doves. There is dove hunting in the area each September and the big fields of flowers provide seeds for the birds and cover for the hunters to stalk them.

MDC also plants other sunflower fields at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area (6990 South Missouri 94, St. Charles) in St. Charles County. Those flowers are expected to bloom in mid-to-late July, depending on growing conditions.

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