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

Photo of common jimsonweed flower

Common Jimsonweed (Thorn Apple)

Datura stramonium
Pretty but poisonous, jimsonweed has white goblet-shaped flowers that open around midnight. This native of tropical America was introduced nearly throughout the United States and thrives in disturbed soils.

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Photo of common ladies' tresses, flower stalk with spiral flower arrangement

Common Ladies’ Tresses (Nodding Ladies’ Tresses)

Spiranthes cernua
Of the seven species of ladies' tresses in Missouri, this is the most common. The flowers are arranged in a spiral pattern on the upright flowering stem. Each small flower is a little white orchid.

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Photo of common milkweed flower cluster

Common Milkweed

Asclepias syriaca
A wildflower common statewide, found in a variety of habitats, common milkweed is famous as a food plant for monarch butterflies. It is also notable for its curious seedpods bearing seeds that fly on silky parachutes.

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Photo of common reed plants in large colony

Common Reed

Phragmites australis australis
Common reed is both native and exotic, but it’s the exotic subspecies that has become an invasive problem. Taking over wetlands with its dense stands, it changes the plant and animal communities and even the way the water flows.

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Photo of common St. John’s-wort flower with spent flowers and fruits

Common St. John’s-Wort (Klamath Weed)

Hypericum perforatum
In Europe, St. John’s-wort was long used as a medicinal herb and to ward off evil magic. Today, researchers are finding it can treat depression. Yet it poisons livestock and in some places is an invasive weed.

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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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