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Content tagged with "Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants"

Photo of Jacob's ladder plant showing leaves and flowers

Jacob’s Ladder

Polemonium reptans
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.

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Photo of Japanese knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Fallopia japonica
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.

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Photo of Japanese stiltgrass

Japanese Stiltgrass (Eulalia)

Microstegium vimineum
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.

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Photo of the upper portions of two Jerusalem artichoke plants.

Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunflower Artichoke)

Helianthus tuberosus
Jerusalem artichoke deserves a better common name. This tall native sunflower has edible tubers and great crop potential, but it has never been very big commercially. Fortunately, we can enjoy it for free in nature.

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Image of Johnny-jump-up.

Johnny-Jump-Up (Field Pansy)

Viola bicolor
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.

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Photo of Johnson grass flower clusters

Johnson Grass

Sorghum halepense
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.

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Photo of Korean lespedeza plant with flowers

Korean Lespedeza (Korean Clover)

Kummerowia stipulacea (formerly Lespedeza stipulacea)
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.

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

Kudzu

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 lance-leaved loosestrife plant with flowers

Lance-Leaved Loosestrife

Lysimachia lanceolata
You can find small colonies of lance-leaved loosestrife nearly throughout the state. It has showy but nodding yellow flowers and opposite, closely spaced, lanceolate or ovate leaves.

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Large-Flowered Gaura (Butterfly Flower; Longflower Beeblossom)

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.

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