Dogwoods have leaves arranged opposite one another on the stem—except for this species! This shrub or small tree is a popular ornamental, especially in the northern parts of Missouri, where it can be too cold to grow flowering dogwood.
American hornbeam is also called musclewood because of the sinewy appearance of its smooth gray bark. The name hornbeam refers to the genuine strength of its wood—it is one of the hardest and strongest woods in North America.
This shrub can be found all over the state, since it was planted widely with the best of intentions. Despite its “pros,” this species has proven to be very invasive. It threatens native ecosystems and should not be planted.
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.