Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

swamp white oak

Swamp White Oak

Quercus bicolor
Sometimes called simply "swamp oak," this beautiful tree features bicolored leaves that are shiny, dark green above and downy white below. When a breeze sets them in motion, their wavy or lobed shapes add a calm grace to a summer's hike.

Read more

sweetgum tree

Sweet Gum

Liquidambar styraciflua
The star-shaped leaves of sweet gum become even more striking in the autumn, when they turn various shades of gold, red, pink and purple, often on the same tree—sometimes even on the same leaf!

Read more

Image of a sycamore leaf


Platanus occidentalis
The white, smooth-looking limbs of this giant tree rise over countless streams and river banks—as well as over sidewalks and city streets. The leaves, which somewhat resemble those of maples, can reach remarkably large sizes.

Read more

Thunberg’s Lespedeza (Shrub Lespedeza; Pink Bush Clover)

Lespedeza thunbergii
Thunberg’s lespedeza is a large, non-woody perennial shrub often cultivated as a showy, flowering ornamental. It sometimes escapes from cultivation and naturalizes in Missouri landscapes.

Read more

tree of heaven


Ailanthus altissima
Tree-of-Heaven is a fast-growing exotic that has become common in urban areas. It is weedy and aggressive and should not be planted. Recognize it by its 2-foot-long feather-compound leaves and the unpleasant scent of the twigs when you break them.

Read more

Photo of trumpet creeper showing cluster of flowers

Trumpet Creeper (Trumpet Vine)

Campsis radicans
Each summer, the bright orange and red “trumpets” of this woody vine decorate Missouri’s cliff faces, telephone poles, and anything else strong enough to support it. Hummingbirds zoom to trumpet creeper’s flowers for their nectar.

Read more


Tulip Tree (Yellow Poplar, Tulip Poplar)

Liriodendron tulipifera
Though it only occurs naturally in the southeastern part of Missouri, the stately tulip tree is planted widely in lawns, parks and cemeteries. The distinctive leaves and tulip-shaped flowers make it easy to identify.

Read more

Image of Virginia creeper leaves

Virginia Creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Occasionally confused with poison ivy, Virginia creeper can be easily identified by simply noticing that most of its leaflets are in fives, instead of threes. This delightful native vine is useful in landscaping.

Read more

Ward’s Willow (Carolina Willow; Coastal Plain Willow; Ward Willow)

Salix caroliniana
This willow is one of the first woody species to occupy the outer edges of gravel bars in a stream. This "pioneer plant" honors an intellectual pioneer, Lester Frank Ward, who was a Civil War veteran, botanist, geologist and sociologist; he was the first president of the American Sociological Association.

Read more

water hickory

Water Hickory (Bitter Pecan)

Carya aquatica
Water hickory grows on ground that is often under water during part of the year. The bitter nuts are consumed by ducks and other wildlife.

Read more