While only 37 acres, La Petite Gemme Prairie supports 335 native plant species. Photo: Christine Chiu

La Petite Gemme

About La Petite Gemme

This 37-acre original prairie near Bolivar, MO in Polk County takes its name, meaning little gem, from the French heritage of Missouri. It is located at Mile 32 along the Frisco Highline Trail that runs 35 miles from Springfield to Bolivar. MPF acquired this prairie in 1974.

La Petite Gemme Prairie is mostly a limestone/dolomite prairie community, a very uncommon type of prairie that has some similarities with limestone/dolomite glades.

La Petite Gemme Prairie is a designated Missouri Natural Area, dedicated in 1977. This very diverse prairie supports 335 native plant species with an average CC value of 4.28, and an incredible 53 conservative plant species—the most on any MPF prairie. During a 2015 survey by botanists, an amazing 38 plant species were recorded in one quadrat measuring only 20 by 20 inches (¼ square meter). The prairie mole cricket, a Missouri species of conservation concern, has been found here, as well as the northern bobwhite, Henslow’s sparrow, and scissor-tailed flycatcher.

2019 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties (includes La Petite Gemme Prairie)

2016 Institute of Botanical Training La Petite Gemme Prairie Floristic Integrity Report

La Petite Gemme Prairie Bryophytes

Downloadable La Petite Gemme Brochure

La Petite Gemme Prairie is managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with MPF.


La Petite Gemme Prairie is located in Polk County on Evans Road, about 2 miles south of Bolivar. From the intersection of Highway 13 and Highway 83, take the west access road (Springfield Ave) south about 1 mile. The road turns sharply west; continue west on this road (E473/Evans Road) about .8 miles until it dead-ends at the parking area. By GPS, N37 33.881 W93 24.605 (in decimal degrees, 37.56470 -93.41010).

Address: 1200 E 473rd Rd, Bolivar, MO 65613

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