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

Photo of common sunflower

Common Sunflower

Helianthus annuus
Whether you see the wild form or any of the many cultivated varieties, this “poster child” of the sunflower family cultivates its own sunny impression. Common sunflower is also the state flower of Kansas.

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Photo of common violet

Common Violet

Viola sororia
There are nearly 20 species of violets in Missouri. This one, which can be violet, white, or white-and-violet, is found statewide in a variety of habitats. Note its heart-shaped or rounded, scalloped leaves, and (usually) the presence of hairs on stems and/or foliage.

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Photo of common water hemlock or spotted cowbane flowers

Common Water Hemlock (Spotted Cowbane)

Cicuta maculata
Full grown, water hemlock looks something like a gigantic Queen Anne's lace, but this common, widespread member of the carrot family is the most toxic plant in North America. All parts are deadly. A piece of root the size of a walnut can kill a cow-sized animal.

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Photo of compass plant flowers

Compass Plant

Silphium laciniatum
Compass plant grows to 8 feet tall and has foot-long, deeply cleft leaves at its base. It got its common name because its leaves turn so that the surfaces face east and west (to take full advantage of the sun’s rays).

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Photo of coontail aquatic plant with penny for scale

Coontail (Hornwort; Coon’s Tail)

Ceratophyllum demersum
Coontail, a common submerged aquatic plant, got its name from the crowded upper leaves, which make the stem tip appear bushy like the tail of a raccoon.

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Photo of copper iris plants with flowers

Copper Iris

Iris fulva
This attractive, copper-colored iris is gaining in popularity as a garden plant even though its numbers are declining in the wild. Like many other native plants, copper iris is hardy, low-maintenance, and has few pest or disease problems.

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Photo of corn salad plants with flowers

Corn Salad

Valerianella radiata
At first glance, you might overlook corn salad, except for the large colonies it often forms. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad green, hence the name.

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Photo of a cornflower, closeup of a flowerhead.

Cornflower (Bachelor’s Button; Blue Bottle)

Centaurea cyanus
A native of Europe, cornflower is a popular garden flower that often escapes to nearby areas. It’s used in bridal bouquets and men’s boutonnieres. Its intense blue color appears in boxes of crayons!

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Photo of crown vetch, closeup of a flower cluster.

Crown Vetch

Securigera varia (formerly Coronilla varia)
When you drive through Missouri in the summer, you’re almost guaranteed to see the pink flower clusters of crown vetch, whose masses of green foliage coat the right-of-ways along highways. This weedy plant stabilizes the dirt after road construction but degrades our natural ecosystems.

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Photo of Culver's root plant with flowers

Culver’s Root

Veronicastrum virginicum
Culver’s root is a tall, graceful perennial with flower clusters that look like candelabras. The white flowers are packed together in slender, brushlike spikes. The leaves are in whorls, well-spaced along the stalk.

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