This small understory tree has beautiful fall color: deep lavender or maroon-purple, finally becoming deep rose-red, contrasting with clusters of blue-black berries, borne on red stalks, that happen to be quite tasty. No wonder it has been cultivated as an ornamental since 1727!
Possum haw is the more common of two native Missouri hollies that lose their leaves each fall. This shrub or small tree is eye-catching in the fall and winter when the bright red berries persist on the gray and brown branches and twigs.
“Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch” is an old song you might be familiar with—but today, surprisingly few Missourians know a pawpaw tree when they see one. This is a good tree to know, especially when the large, sweet fruit are ripening!
American hornbeam is also called musclewood because of the sinewy appearance of its smooth gray bark. The name hornbeam refers to the genuine strength of its wood—it is one of the hardest and strongest woods in North America.
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.