“Please don’t throw me into the briar patch!” The real truth about blackberry bushes is that the prickles are worth braving—whether you’re a rabbit seeking shelter or a berry-picker hunting the delicious fruits.
Although it's named for its sweet, purple (edible) fruits, most people learn to identify hackberry because of its interesting bark, which develops numerous corky, wartlike projections that sometimes join to form ridges.
It's not our largest violet, but it's one of the most common. The coloration of these delicate-looking flowers often looks faded. Look for it in fields, meadows, glades, rights-of-way, disturbed sites and possibly your front lawn.
“Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch” is an old song you might be familiar with—but today, surprisingly few Missourians know a pawpaw tree when they see one. This is a good tree to know, especially when the large, sweet fruit are ripening!
One of Missouri’s favorite nut trees is the pecan, which is a type of hickory—and hickories are in the walnut family! Originally pecan had a fairly limited, southern distribution, but today it is found in and out of cultivation nearly statewide, owing to the popularity of the nuts.
This medium-sized tree with the “alligator” bark is best known in the fall, when its orange, plumlike fruits come on. Be careful, however, to make sure a persimmon is ripe before you pop it into your mouth, or you could have a puckery surprise!
Slender mountain mint has smooth, square stems, opposite, narrow leaves, and dense heads of 2-lipped white (or lavender) flowers. Aromatic and minty, it can be grown at home in the herb garden, and its leaves used for seasoning food.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.