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

Photo of a bull thistle flowerhead.

Bull Thistle

Cirsium vulgare
Bull thistle is a weedy introduction from Europe, found statewide. To tell it from our other thistles, note its stems with spiny-margined wings, and its leaves with the upper surface strongly roughened with stiff, spiny bristles.

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Photo of butterfly pea plant with flowers

Butterfly Pea

Clitoria mariana
Butterfly pea is a low, shrubby, or twining perennial in the pea family, with showy, butterfly-like flowers. The leaves are compound with three leaflets. This species grows in the southern parts of Missouri, in acid soils.

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Photo of butterfly weed plant with flowers

Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa
This bright orange milkweed is a favorite nectar plant for butterflies, and the leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of monarch butterflies. One of our showiest native wildflowers, butterfly weed is also a favorite of gardeners.

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Photo of Canada thistle flowers

Canada Thistle

Cirsium arvense
Canada thistle is a native to Eurasia and arrived on our continent probably before the Revolutionary War—most likely mixed in agricultural seed. A bad weed of crop fields and rangeland farther north, it causes problems in Missouri, too.

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Photo of cardinal flower plants in flower

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis
Cardinal flower provides a splash of bright red along streams and rivers, in bottomland forests, in ditches by roads, and in other wet places. It's a long-blooming Missouri native wildflower.

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Photo of Carolina false dandelion flowerhead.

Carolina False Dandelion

Pyrrhopappus carolinianus
One of several native plants called dandelions, Carolina false dandelion is an annual with sulphur yellow flowers and puffy seedheads.

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Photo of Carolina larkspur plants with flowers

Carolina Larkspur (Prairie Larkspur)

Delphinium carolinianum
Small blue, lavender, or white flowers shaped like cornucopias dance along the tall stems of this Carolina larkspur, which grows in prairies and grasslands.

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Photo of several cattail flowering stalks


Typha spp.
Missouri’s cattails are all tall wetland plants with narrow, upright leaves emerging from a thick base, and a central stalk bearing a brown, sausage-shaped flower spike.

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Caucasian Bluestem

Bothriochloa bladhii
Causasian bluestem and the closely related yellow bluestem are both aggressive, weedy degraders of pasturelands that escape cultivation and endanger native habitats. Learn more about these Old World grasses, and please don’t plant them!

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Photo of celandine poppy plant and flowers

Celandine Poppy (Wood Poppy)

Stylophorum diphyllum
The showy, bright yellow flowers of celandine poppy really stand out in the shady woods and valleys where this plant grows. You should consider this species when you are planting a shade garden!

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