Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

ohio buckeye tree

Ohio Buckeye

Aesculus glabra
Ohio buckeye is one of the first trees to leaf out in spring, and its palmately compound leaves make it look somewhat coarse textured. But most of all, buckeyes are known for buckeyes! People often carry these shiny brown seeds in their pockets for luck.

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Image of an osage orange leaf

Osage Orange

Maclura pomifera
What most people notice first about this densely branched, short-trunked, thorny tree are the weird, softball-sized, chartreuse, brainlike fruits, which often lie beneath the tree in abundance in autumn.

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overcup oak

Overcup Oak

Quercus lyrata
This is one of the easier oaks to identify. Note the acorns, which are almost completely covered by their knobby cups; the leaves, whose lobes are long and narrow, with wide sinuses between them; and (in Missouri) the location: these grow naturally only in wet forests along the Mississippi and Meramec rivers.

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Image of Ozark witch-hazel.

Ozark Witch-Hazel

Hamamelis vernalis
Ozark witch-hazel is a large native shrub that grows along dry, rocky streambeds in southern and east-central Missouri. The flowers are yellow, ribbonlike and bloom as early as January. In the fall, the seeds are ejected forcefully, to a distance of up to 30 feet!

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Image of a pawpaw tree


Asimina triloba
“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!

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pecan tree


Carya illinoinensis
One of Missouri’s favorite nut trees is the pecan, which is a type of hickory—and hickories are in the walnut family! Originally pecan had a fairly limited, southern distribution, but today it is found in and out of cultivation nearly statewide, owing to the popularity of the nuts.

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Diospyros virginiana
This medium-sized tree with the “alligator” bark is best known in the fall, when its orange, plumlike fruits come on. Be careful, however, to make sure a persimmon is ripe before you pop it into your mouth, or you could have a puckery surprise!

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pignut hickory

Pignut Hickory

Carya glabra
A rugged hickory of dry upland forests in the eastern Ozarks, the pignut has pear-shaped fruits with thin husks. Settlers were unimpressed with the nuts’ flavor and fed them to their hogs!

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pin oak

Pin Oak

Quercus palustris
Pin oak is one of the easiest trees to recognize by its shape alone: It has a tall, straight trunk, an overall pyramidal or conical shape and, most notably, the branches on the lower third of the tree angle downward. Pin oak grows faster than other oaks and is used extensively for street and yard planting.

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Image of poison ivy

Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans
This toxic plant contains an oil in all its parts that, if you come into contact with it, can cause an intense skin reaction. This is no reason to stay indoors, however! Learn to recognize poison ivy, and sidestep it on your outings.

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