Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 results
Media
Giant ironweed flower cluster
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vernonia spp.
Description
Five species of ironweeds live in Missouri. Starting in the middle of summer, they bear showy clusters of magenta or purple flowerheads at the branching tops of upright stalks.
Media
Western ironweed flowerhead in bloom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vernonia baldwinii
Description
Ironweeds are tough, grayish-green, branching plants known for their fluffy-looking clusters of reddish-purple florets. They are a familiar sight on roadsides and pastures. Identify western ironweed by the bracts at the base of the flowerheads.
Media
spotted knapweed
Species Types
Scientific Name
Centaurea stoebe
Description
Spotted knapweed is an invasive plant that outcompetes native communities, takes over pastureland, and even beats back invasive sericea lespedeza! It has arrived in our state. Let’s prevent its spread.
Media
Photo of a musk thistle blooming flower head.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Carduus nutans
Description
An invasive native of Eurasia that is spreading in Missouri, musk thistle is a plant you should know. Learn how to tell the difference between our native thistles and these bad guys.
Media
Photo of yarrow or common milfoil flower cluster
Species Types
Scientific Name
Achillea millefolium
Description
Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, yarrow has been used for medicine and magic for millennia. This aromatic plant has fine, hairy, fernlike leaves and flat-topped clusters of little white flowers.
See Also

About Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants in Missouri

A very simple way of thinking about the green world is to divide the vascular plants into two groups: woody and nonwoody (or herbaceous). But this is an artificial division; many plant families include some species that are woody and some that are not. The diversity of nonwoody vascular plants is staggering! Think of all the ferns, grasses, sedges, lilies, peas, sunflowers, nightshades, milkweeds, mustards, mints, and mallows — weeds and wildflowers — and many more!