Tucker Prairie

Tucker Prairie is a 146-acre tract of virgin tall grass prairie in Callaway County, Missouri. This tract of land is the largest prairie remnant in mid-Missouri. It has never been plowed. 

Owned by the William C. Tucker family for 125 years, the University of Missouri purchased the tract of land in 1957 with funds from the National Science Foundation, The Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Alumni Achievement Fund of the University of Missouri in Columbia, and several private individuals. The area was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1978 and a State Natural Area in 1998. It is managed and maintained as a research prairie by the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, with help from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The rich, virgin soil of Tucker Prairie supports more than 250 species of plants adapted to this region over thousands of years, including about 70 families and 150 genera. Grasses average about 50 percent of the ground cover, with big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, and prairie dropseed as the dominant species under normal weather conditions. Tucker Prairie has an extensive subterranean clay pan that makes tree growth difficult, thus enhancing its unique qualities.

The prairie is used as a research tract principally by faculty and students of the University of Missouri but outside researchers are welcome. 

Anyone wishing to conduct research on Tucker Prairie must complete and submit a research application to the Tucker Prairie Committee.



Dr. David Schulz
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri
Phone: 573-882-8985
Email: SchulzD@missouri.edu

Melody Kroll
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri
Phone: 573-884-4144
Email: krollmm@missouri.edu