As pretty as this wildflower is, the common name “Jacob’s Ladder” comes from its ladderlike leaves, which made people think of the story from Genesis in which Jacob dreams of a ladder reaching up to heaven.
One of the worst invasive species in the world, this plant can thrive in many places and can even damage foundations of buildings—not to mention the harm it causes in natural habitats. Learn to “know thine enemy,” so you can prevent its spread.
Japanese stiltgrass is an invasive annual grass with thin, pale green, lance-shaped leaves that are 3 inches long. It has spread to nearly every eastern U.S. state. It forms dense patches, displacing and outcompeting native species for nutrients and light.
It's not our largest violet, but it's one of the most common. The coloration of these delicate-looking flowers often looks faded. Look for it in fields, meadows, glades, rights-of-way, disturbed sites and possibly your front lawn.
Johnson grass is a native of the Mediterranean that is invasive in our country. It’s a weed that infests cropland and degrades native ecosystems, and heavy infestations are found in all the major river bottoms of Missouri.
Korean lespedeza is an Asian clover that was introduced to North America to prevent erosion, to feed wildlife and livestock, and, since it is a legume, to add nitrogen to the soil. A weedy plant, it has spread statewide since the 1930s.
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.”
Oenothera filiformis (formerly Gaura longiflora, G. biennis)
Large-flowered gaura is a tall plant whose white flowers turn pinkish as they age. Four petals point upward, then bend back, and 8 stamens droop downward. The flowers look something like small butterflies.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources.
We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.
Check out the featured picture and other images at the MDC Media Gallery