Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

water oak

Water Oak

Quercus nigra
Its range, and the interesting (and variable) shapes of the leaves easily identify water oak. This species, like many plants and animals that require wet lowland forests, has been declining in our state due to extensive clearing, rowcropping, ditching and draining in in our Bootheel counties.

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Image of a white ash tree

White Ash

Fraxinus americana
“Leaf-peepers” admire the yellows and purples this tree lends Missouri’s autumn canopy, and many birds and mammals feed on the distinctive, paddle-shaped seeds. The word “white” in the name probably refers to the pale undersides of the leaves.

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Image of white mulberry.

White Mulberry

Morus alba
White mulberry, an Asian species, was introduced by early settlers, who cultivated it for its berries and as fodder for an attempted silkworm industry. Birds have helped spread the white mulberry so much that in many places it is more common than our native red mulberry.

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White Oak

White Oak

Quercus alba
Found throughout Missouri and in all kinds of habitats, the white oak is one of our most attractive, long-lived and stately shade trees. Learn to recognize it by its light gray bark, rounded-lobed leaves and distinctive acorns.

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wild plum

Wild Plum

Prunus americana
There are several species of plums growing wild in Missouri, but this is one of the most common. A shrub or small tree with clusters of white flowers in the spring, and small red or yellow fruits in mid- to late summer, it’s a popular tree for landscaping.

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willow oak

Willow Oak

Quercus phellos
The name "willow oak" describes the shape of the leaves, which are narrow, pointed and "willowlike," as well as its affinity to wet ground. It is unrelated to true willows, however: One look at its acorns proves that it is a true oak! In Missouri, willow oak is only found natively in our southeastern counties.

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Salix spp. (over a dozen species in Missouri)
You probably know about the exotic willows available at lawn and garden centers, but did you know there are several willow species native to Missouri? Most are rather humble colonizers of gravel bars, riverbanks and lakesides. Many have importance for human economic interests. All have a place in our wild ecosystems.

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Winged Sumac (Dwarf Sumac; Shining Sumac)

Rhus copallinum
This native sumac is most common south of the Missouri River. It colonizes old fields and abandoned rights-of-way and makes a desirable ornamental shrub. The "wings" in the name refer to the narrow, flattened structures running along the central stems of the compound leaves.

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Euonymus fortunei
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.

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Photo of yellow honeysuckle vine showing leaves and flowers

Yellow Honeysuckle

Lonicera flava
One of our beautiful, native Missouri honeysuckles, yellow honeysuckle grows mainly in the Ozarks. Unlike the invasive Japanese honeysuckle, this plant is not aggressive and makes a wonderful trellis vine for the ecology-minded gardener.

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