Field Guide

Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
Media
Illustration of bristly greenbrier leaves, flowers, fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Smilax hispida (syn. S. tamnoides var. hispida)
Description
Bristly greenbrier is a stout woody vine with bristlelike black spines, climbing high by tendrils to a length of 40 feet. It is the most common greenbrier in Missouri and is found statewide.
Media
Illustration of catbrier leaves, flowers, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Smilax bona-nox
Description
Catbrier is a green-stalked perennial vine with stout spines. It climbs up to 25 feet using tendrils that arise in pairs from the bases of the triangular, heart, or fiddle-shaped leaves.
Media
Illustration of dewberry leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Rubus flagellaris
Description
Dewberry is a lot like common blackberry, except that instead of being a small shrub, its canes form trailing woody vines. Both plants are prickly, and both produce delicious deep purple berries!
Media
Illustration of fragrant sumac leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Rhus aromatica
Description
Unlike its cousin poison ivy, fragrant sumac is a peasant, nontoxic plant. Note the middle leaflet of its "leaves of three": On fragrant sumac, there is no (or at most a very short) leaf stalk on that middle leaflet. Also, fragrant sumac has hairy, reddish fruits (not waxy whitish ones).
Media
Illustration of frost grape leaves, flowers, fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vitis vulpina
Description
Frost grape is a vigorous vine climbing to 60 feet in length using tendrils. It is scattered statewide, growing in bottomlands, along streams, in low, wet woods, at bases of bluffs, and in thickets.
Media
Illustration of greenbrier leaves, flowers, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Smilax glauca
Description
Greenbrier is a slender, spiny, woody vine climbing by coiled tendrils. Its leaves can be broadly heart-shaped, oval, or lance-shaped. The leaf undersurface is smooth and notably whitened, silvery, or blue-gray with a waxy coating.
Media
Illustration of red grape leaves, flowers, fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vitis palmata
Description
Red grape is an attractive, high-climbing, slender, delicate vine named for the color of its branches. It occurs mostly in eastern Missouri, especially along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
Media
Illustration of riverbank grape leaves, flowers, fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vitis riparia
Description
Riverbank grape is a woody wild grape vine climbing to 75 feet by means of tendrils. It occurs nearly statewide but is absent from most of the Ozark plateau.
Media
Illustration of round-leaved catbrier leaves, flowers, fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Smilax rotundifolia
Description
Round-leaved catbrier is a climbing, perennial woody vine to 20 feet long with tendrils and stout spines, sometimes forming tangled thickets. In Missouri, it is found mainly in the Bootheel and nearby southeastern Ozarks.
Media
Illustration of sand grape leaves, flowers, fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vitis rupestris
Description
Sand grape is a bushy, sprawling, or trailing woody vine found along rocky streambeds or gravel bars. It rarely climbs but may reach a length of 8 feet. It lacks tendrils.
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.