Field Guide

Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines

Showing 1 - 10 of 24 results
Media
Illustration of shrubby St. John's-wort leves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hypericum prolificum (formerly H. spathulatum)
Description
Shrubby St. John’s-wort has shiny, somewhat leathery, opposite leaves, 2-edged twigs, and flowers with 5 bright yellow petals and many stamens. A shrub growing to 6 feet tall, it is scattered nearly statewide.
Media
Illustration of red-berried elderberry leaves, flowers, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sambucus pubens
Description
Red-berried elderberry reaches 24 feet in height and does not form colonies. Its white flowers, and later, red berries, are in pyramidal clusters. In Missouri, it’s known only from Marion County.
Media
Illustration of Ohio buckeye leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Aesculus glabra
Description
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.
Media
Illustration of trumpet creeper leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Campsis radicans
Description
Each summer, the bright orange and red “trumpets” of this woody vine decorate Missouri’s cliff faces, telephone poles, and anything else strong enough to support it. Hummingbirds zoom to trumpet creeper’s flowers for their nectar.
Media
Illustration of yellow honeysuckle leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lonicera flava
Description
One of our beautiful, native Missouri honeysuckles, yellow honeysuckle grows mainly in the Ozarks. Unlike the invasive Japanese honeysuckle, this plant is not aggressive and makes a wonderful trellis vine for the ecology-minded gardener.
Media
Illustration of limber honeysuckle leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lonicera dioica
Description
Limber honeysuckle is a native Missourian. It's uncommon and widely scattered in the state, but it does well as a trellis vine. Identify it by its crowded clusters of tubular, yellow or greenish-yellow flowers, tinged with red, purple, or pink, that are noticeably enlarged on one side at the base.
Media
Illustration of grape honeysuckle leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lonicera reticulata (formerly L. prolifera)
Description
One of Missouri's beautiful native honeysuckles, grape honeysuckle is found mainly in the northern two-thirds of the state. In the native plant garden, it is easy to grow, but it is not aggressive like the introduced invasive Japanese honeysuckle.
Media
Illustration of sugar maple leaves, twigs, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Acer saccharum
Description
Sugar maple is a tree that inspires much “oohing and aahing” during fall color season. Its sap is famous as a source for maple syrup, but its use in landscaping and for furniture is also widespread.
Media
rough-leaved dogwood
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cornus spp.
Description
Missouri’s five species of dogwoods are shrubs or small trees with distinctive flowers, fruits, and bark. The fruits may be red, white, or blue. The leaves have characteristic arching veins.
Media
sugar maple
Species Types
Scientific Name
Acer spp.
Description
Missouri has five species of maples that are either native or naturalized, plus several that are known only in cultivation. Maples are important members of native ecosystems. They also provide stunning fall color, welcome shade in summer, commercially important lumber, and sap for syrup.
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.