Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

Illustration of black willow leaves and catkins.

Black Willow

Salix nigra
In some parts of our nation, black willow is only a shrub, but in Missouri it grows quite large. The largest and most widely known of our native willows, black willow is the only member of its family that reaches commercial size.

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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.

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Illustration of box elder leaves and fruits.

Box Elder

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.

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bur oak tree

Bur Oak

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.

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Illustration of bush honeysuckle leaves, flowers, fruit.

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.

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Illustration of buttonbush leaves, flowers, fruits.


Cephalanthus occidentalis
White flowers clustered in round balls give buttonbush its name. It's always found near water, and thickets of buttonbush help protect lakeshores from wave action. This shrub is also planted as an ornamental.

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Callery Pear

Callery Pear (Bradford 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!

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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.

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Image of a cherrybark oak leaf

Cherrybark Oak

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.

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Photo of Chinese yam showing leaves and bulbils

Chinese Yam

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!

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