Field Guide

Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines

Showing 1 - 10 of 156 results
Media
Illustration of black cherry leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Prunus serotina
Description
Black cherry is prized for its high-quality wood. With its rich red color, it is easy to machine and holds its shape well. Eastern tent caterpillars like black cherry as well, spinning “tents” or bags on the branches for protection while they feed on the leaves.
Media
Illustration of poison ivy leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Toxicodendron radicans
Description
Poison ivy is a toxic plant that contains an oil in all its parts that, if you come into contact with it, can cause an intense skin reaction. Learn to recognize it, and sidestep it on your outings.
Media
Illustration of woodbine leaves, flowers, fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Parthenocissus vitacea (syn. P. inserta)
Description
Woodbine is a climbing woody vine that usually sprawls over bushes and rocks. Its leaves have five coarsely toothed leaflets. Unlike the closely related Virginia creeper, its tendrils generally lack sucker disks. It is rarely found in Missouri.
Media
Illustration of New Jersey tea leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ceanothus americanus
Description
A very small shrub of our native prairies and other open sites, New Jersey tea was used by patriotic American colonists as a substitute for black tea imported from England during the Revolutionary War.
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 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.
Media
Illustration of multiflora rose, leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Rosa multiflora
Description
Starting more than a century ago, this nonnative rose was planted across America — for many good reasons — but multiflora rose has proven to be invasive, and now the goal is to stop its spread.
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 American basswood leaves, flowers, fruits.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tilia americana
Description
American basswood is a common shade tree planted in lawns, parks, and along city streets. Recognize it by its leaf shape and texture, and by the unusual strap-shaped, reduced leaf attached to the clusters of small flowers.
Media
Photo of a heavenly bamboo, nandina, plant growing in the woods.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nandina domestica
Description
Heavenly bamboo is hardly “heavenly” when it comes to its negative effects on our native plants and animals. A tremendously popular landscaping plant, it readily escapes and is difficult to eradicate.
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.