Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

Image of a hackberry leaf


Celtis occidentalis
Although it's named for its sweet, purple (edible) fruits, most people learn to identify hackberry because of its interesting bark, which develops numerous corky, wartlike projections that sometimes join to form ridges.

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Photo of hawthorn trees blooming on lawn of Missouri state capitol


Various species in the genus Crataegus
Our state flower, the hawthorn, is solidly represented in Missouri. There are about 100 different kinds of hawthorns that occupy almost every kind of soil in every part of the state. These members of the rose family are closely related to apples.

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honey locust

Honey Locust

Gleditsia triacanthos
Though it doesn’t reach a “stately” size, honey locust commands respect because of its many large, strong, usually branched thorns, which can puncture tractor tires as easily as they can poke through tennis shoes! The long, leathery, twisting pods are relished by cattle and by wildlife.

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hop hornbeam

Hop Hornbeam

Ostrya virginiana
The “hop” in the name is for this tree’s fruits, which are clusters of flattened, papery, scalelike sacs arranged in an overlapping pattern, like scales on a pinecone—resembling the hops that beer is made from. Though we can’t make beer from this hornbeam, ruffed grouse depend on it for winter food.

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jack pine

Jack Pine

Pinus banksiana
Native to the northeastern United States and Canada, jack pine has been introduced in many other places, including Missouri. This scrubby tree is planted as an ornamental, for windbreaks or for erosion control. It reproduces locally in and around places where it has been planted.

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Japanese Honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica
You might enjoy its fragrance, but don’t kid yourself about this invasive, exotic vine: Japanese honeysuckle is an aggressive colonizer that shades out native plants and harms natural communities. Learn how to recognize it!

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kentucky coffee tree

Kentucky Coffee Tree

Gymnocladus dioicus
There’s no mistaking this tree when its large, tough seedpods are hanging from its limbs or dropping to the ground below. Unpopular as food with today’s wildlife, these seedpods might have been a food source for mastodons and other large, extinct North American mammals.

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Photo of a huge mass of kudzu vines covering trees and ground


Pueraria montana
Of the many invasive exotic plants that were originally introduced to stop soil erosion and improve soils, kudzu is one of the worst. This “vine that ate the South” is often the first plant that comes to mind when we think of “invasive exotics.”

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Photo of lead plant showing flowers and leaves

Lead Plant

Amorpha canescens
Lead plant is a densely hairy small shrub producing tight, elongated spikes of small purple flowers from May through August. It grows in prairies, glades, and savannas.

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Photo of limber honeysuckle flowers

Limber Honeysuckle (Wild Honeysuckle; Red Honeysuckle)

Lonicera dioica
This native Missouri honeysuckle is uncommon and widely scattered in the state, but it does well as a trellis vine in the native landscape garden. Identify it by its crowded clusters of tubular, yellow or greenish-yellow flowers, tinged with red, purple, or pink, that are noticeably enlarged on one side at the base.

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