Field Guide

Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines

Showing 1 - 10 of 10 results
Media
Illustration of Ashe’s juniper needles, twig, fruits, with inset showing overall shape of plant
Species Types
Scientific Name
Juniperus ashei
Description
In Missouri, Ashe’s juniper is uncommon and only found in a few southwestern counties; our populations represent the northeastern tip of its range. Here, it is much less widespread than its close relative eastern red cedar.
Media
Illustration of winged euonymus, or burning bush, Euonymus alatus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Euonymus alatus
Description
Burning bush, or winged euonymus, is a nonnative shrub that has been very popular in landscaping for its bright red fall foliage. But it is invasive and spreads aggressively into natural habitats, displacing native species.
Media
Illustration of eastern leatherwood leaves, flowers, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dirca palustris
Description
Eastern leatherwood is a native shrub of bottomlands, stream banks, and bases of bluffs. It has unusual little dangling yellow flowers, and its twigs are surprisingly flexible.
Media
Illustration of flowering dogwood leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cornus florida
Description
Flowering dogwood is a beautiful shrub to small tree with a straggling, spreading crown. Missouri’s official state tree, it presents lovely boughs of white inflorescences in springtime forests.
Media
Illustration of lowbush blueberry leaves, flowers, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vaccinium pallidum (syn. V. vacillans)
Description
Lowbush blueberry is a stiffly branching shrub to 3 feet high. The berries are tasty raw or cooked in pies, muffins, and preserves. It is mostly found south of the Missouri River. It often grows in extensive colonies.
Media
Illustration of pawpaw leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Asimina triloba
Description
“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!
Media
Illustration of pondberry leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lindera melissifolia
Description
Pondberry is a colony-forming shrub that grows in swampy depressions in lowland forests. It is an Endangered species. In Missouri, only one population occurs, in southern Ripley County.
Media
Illustration of possum haw leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ilex decidua
Description
Possum haw, or deciduous holly, 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 with its bright red berries.
Media
Illustration of prairie rose leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Rosa setigera
Description
Also called climbing rose, prairie rose is most common near woodlands, where it climbs and trails on neighboring shrubs and small trees.
Media
Illustration of St. Andrew's cross leaves, flowers, fruit.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hypericum hypericoides (formerly Ascyrum hypericoides)
Description
St. Andrew’s cross is a small, sprawling shrub up to 3 feet tall, with smooth, opposite leaves, reddish flaky bark, and distinctive yellow flowers with 4 petals. It grows in the southern half of Missouri.
See Also

About Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines in Missouri

There are no sharp dividing lines between trees, shrubs, and woody vines, or even between woody and nonwoody plants. “Wood” is a type of tissue made of cellulose and lignin that many plants develop as they mature — whether they are “woody” or not. Trees are woody plants over 13 feet tall with a single trunk. Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground.