Grown as an ornamental for its attractive pink flower clusters, its gracefully spreading branches, and its delicate leaves, this native of Asia is easily propagated and grows rapidly—unfortunately, it has become established as a weedy, invasive exotic in much of the state.
Of the three species of catalpas in our state, northern catalpa is the only one native to Missouri (specifically, the Bootheel region). It has been planted widely, though, in town and country, and has naturalized in many places. A popular ornamental and shade tree with pretty, orchidlike flowers and long, beanlike fruit.
Red buckeye and Ohio buckeye are both found in Missouri. You can distinguish red buckeye by its having usually 5 leaflets (not 7), its red (not greenish-yellow) flowers, and the absence of any spines on its fruit hulls. Although both buckeyes are cultivated statewide, red buckeye grows in the wild only in our southeastern counties.
Dogwoods have leaves arranged opposite one another on the stem—except for this species! This shrub or small tree is a popular ornamental, especially in the northern parts of Missouri, where it can be too cold to grow flowering dogwood.
Gray dogwood is a deciduous, thicket-forming shrub. Its small, creamy-white flowers occur in branched clusters, and its white or pale blue fruits are supported by red stalks—a characteristic that makes it attractive for ornamental uses.
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.