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Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

Illustration of autumn olive leaves, flowers, fruit.

Autumn Olive

Elaeagnus umbellata
Autumn olive can be found all over the state, since it was planted widely with the best of intentions. Despite its “pros,” this shrub has proven to be very invasive. It threatens native ecosystems and should not be planted.

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Illustration of bald cypress leaves and cones.

Bald Cypress

Taxodium distichum
Bald cypress is an “evergreen” tree that is not evergreen! Like the leaves of hardwoods, its needles turn yellow in the fall and are shed. A tree associated with dark, mysterious swamps, its impressive form now graces many public landscapes.

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Illustration of bitternut hickory leaves and nuts.

Bitternut Hickory

Carya cordiformis
Of the several hickories in Missouri, bitternut hickory is the only one with long, bright yellow buds. Its common name refers to the bitter taste of the nut — but the flavor doesn't put off squirrels, mice, and deer!

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Illustration of black cherry leaves, flowers, fruits.

Black Cherry

Prunus serotina
Black cherry is prized for its high-quality wood. With its rich red color, it is easy to machine and holds its shape well. Eastern tent caterpillars like black cherry as well, spinning “tents” or bags on the branches for protection while they feed on the leaves.

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Illustration of black gum flowers and fruits.

Black Gum

Nyssa sylvatica
A close relative of water tupelo, black gum is growing in popularity as a landscaping tree. In the wild, it’s usually found in the Ozarks and Bootheel, but with people planting it in their yards, you might find it anywhere in the state.

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Illustration of black haw leaves, flowers, fruit.

Black Haw

Viburnum prunifolium
Black haw is a small understory tree with beautiful fall color — deep lavender or maroon-purple, finally becoming deep rose-red. Its clusters of blue-black berries, borne on red stalks, happen to be quite tasty. No wonder it has been cultivated as an ornamental since 1727!

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Illustration of black hickory compound leaf and fruit.

Black Hickory

Carya texana
Black hickory is also called the Ozark pignut hickory. Its nut, like that of the pignut hickory (Carya glabra), is awfully hard to crack. Because rural Ozarkers noticed their hogs had no trouble extracting the sweet kernels, both species came to be called "pignut hickories."

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Image of a black locust leaf

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia
Black locust, a member of the bean family, is easy to appreciate in May and June, when its showy white clusters of flowers perfume the breeze with their sweet smell. Bees like the flowers, too.

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Image of a black oak leaf

Black Oak

Quercus velutina
Famed botanical author Donald Culross Peattie admitted that, when judged by ornamental and lumbering value, black oak lacks "benign grace" and "seems to have few civic or domestic associations." But, he pointed out, "as a forest tree, as part of the hard, untamed, original sylva, it has a rough, unbending grandeur of its own."

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Image of a black walnut leaf

Black Walnut

Juglans nigra
Easily Missouri’s most valuable tree, the black walnut provides the finest wood in the world, as well as delicious nuts. Both are in high demand and thus form an important part of Missouri’s economy.

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