Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

Black Willow

black willow
Salix nigra
In some parts of our nation, black willow is only a shrub, but, as Donald Culross Peattie notes, "beside the Father of Waters and its mighty tributaries," this willow is "a sprawling giant of a tree." The largest and most widely known of our native willows, black willow is the only member of its family that reaches commercial size. More

Blackjack Oak

blackjack oak
Quercus marilandica
Blackjack oak is a common timber tree in forests that have been badly burned or are growing on the poorest soils. Considered a relatively worthless tree, this oak is often one of the first trees to be used as fuel, which prevents more glorious trees from such destruction. More

Box Elder

Image of a box elder tree
Acer negundo
A member of the maple family, box elder is often confused with poison ivy because its compound leaves sometimes grow in threes (though also in fives). A fast-growing tree, its winged seeds betray its relationship to other maples. More

Bur Oak

bur oak tree
Quercus macrocarpa
Among the many majestic American oaks with legendary and historic value, McBaine, Missouri's state champion bur oak has a 91-inch-diameter trunk, is over three hundred years old, and survived the flood of 1993. Recently, specialists have been fertilizing and aerating its soil, carefully pruning it, and taking twig samples in order to preserve its extraordinary genetic line. More

Bush Honeysuckles

Image of a bush honeysuckles
Lonicera maackii (Amur) and Lonicera x bella (Bella)
If you’ve got a giant green thicket in your woods, you may have a bush honeysuckle infestation. These invasive plants are shrubby natives of Asia. Here in America, where they have no natural controls, they leaf out early, grow fast, spread fast and form dense thickets that crowd out Missouri’s native forest plants. More


Cephalanthus occidentalis
White flowers clustered in round balls give this shrub its name. Always found near water, buttonbush thickets help protect lakeshores from wave action. This shrub is also planted as an ornamental. More

Callery Pear (Bradford Pear)

Callery Pear
Pyrus calleryana
Sometimes a specific variety of a tree becomes so popular that the whole species becomes known by that name. This is the case with the widely planted 'Bradford' callery pear. Although callery pear has been hugely popular in landscaping, it can escape and hybridize with relatives. Alarmingly, it has become an invasive plant. Learn more about this problem, so you can choose your landscaping trees wisely! More

Canadian Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis
Also called eastern hemlock, this tree is encountered only in landscaping in our state. But based on one instance in Oregon County, we know it can reproduce and spread here on its own. So if you find it on a hike, it was almost certainly planted there at some point. Look around for a cistern, old home foundation and other persisting garden plants nearby. More

Cherrybark Oak

Image of a cherrybark oak leaf
Quercus pagoda
The bark of this tree, as the name suggests, looks like the bark of a cherry tree. The species name starts to make sense when you hold one of the leaves with the leaf stalk upward: The pointed lobes make the leaf resemble an outline of a Chinese pagoda. Look for it in Missouri's Bootheel counties. More

Chinese Yam

Photo of Chinese yam showing leaves and bulbils
Dioscorea oppositifolia (sometimes called D. batatas)
Similar to kudzu, Chinese yam is an aggressive vine that overtakes nearly everything within reach that stands still long enough! Learn more about this invasive plant—and please don’t plant it! More