The 101-acre Victoria Glade habitat harbors a unique array of species including several that are generally more commonly found in the desert, rather than a few miles from the banks of the Mississippi River. It is rich with natural wonders and is only 30 miles south of St. Louis.
This desert-like environment has an interesting array of wildlife found nowhere else in Missouri and has one of the world's largest populations of Fremont's leather flower, which is only found in east-central Missouri glades and a small area on the Nebraska/Kansas border. Additionally, more than 300 species of flowering plants can be found on the glade, including blue wild indigo, American aloe, Missouri Black-eyed Susan, blazing star and green milkweed.
Glades are unique natural communities with strong bedrock influences that support many plants and animals of conservation concern, and Missouri has more glade area than any other state. The exposed dolomite and west and south facing slopes keep the glade hot and arid, creating perfect conditions for collared lizards, scorpions, tarantulas and black widow spiders.
What the Conservancy is Doing
We are using annual prescribed burns to eradicate the red cedars that infringe on the glade. Several research projects by local universities are on-going at Victoria Glade.
The terrain is moderately difficult to hike, and the climate is very hot in the summer. June is the best time to visit. There are no designated trails and we ask that visitors do not disturb flags and markers, which belong to several research projects conducted by TNC and several university partners.