This native of China and Korea was cultivated in Missouri for years, often in urban landscaping. Because it readily escapes from cultivation and is invasive, it is no longer recommended for planting in Missouri.
What most people notice first about this densely branched, short-trunked, thorny tree are the weird, softball-sized, chartreuse, brainlike fruits, which often lie beneath the tree in abundance in autumn.
This small tree with distinctive silvery leaves was introduced to America in the late 1800s and widely planted as an ornamental and windbreak. However, in the Great Plains and western states it has proven to be invasive, where it outcompetes native vegetation and causes a host of ecological problems. Although it's not as invasive in the eastern United States, it could become a problem here in Missouri.
You’ve seen it a million times, now learn to identify it! Technically an exotic invasive plant, tall fescue is practically everywhere, from lawns to levees, and from pastures to (unfortunately!) prairies.
Decades ago, this exotic species was introduced in hopes it would provide hay, improve pastures, stop soil erosion and supply food and cover for wildlife. Unfortunately, it has proven to be an aggressive, invasive weed that is extremely difficult to control, escapes cultivation and outcompetes native plants.
Anyone who’s seen what this plant has done to New England and the Northeast can tell you how invasive this plant is. Learn how to identify it, so you can report any findings to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Introduced from Asia as a groundcover, wintercreeper has escaped cultivation in all the eastern states. It’s frequently found near urban centers, with heavy infestations in woodlands around St. Louis and Kansas City.
This colony-forming shrub is most noticeable in early autumn, because it is one of the first plants to turn color—and boy, can it turn a brilliant red! If you're into wild edibles, you'll want to learn to identify smooth sumac, so you can make drinks and jellies from the clusters of fuzzy red berries.
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.
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