Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results
Media
Photo of crown vetch, closeup of a flower cluster.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Securigera varia (formerly Coronilla varia)
Description
In summer, you’re almost guaranteed to see big colonies of crown vetch along Missouri's highways. This weedy nonnative plant stabilizes the dirt after road construction but degrades our natural ecosystems.
Media
Photo of goat's rue showing flower cluster
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tephrosia virginiana
Description
Two-colored flowers of pink and light yellow make goat's rue easy to identify. Look for this legume in rocky, open woods, savannas, prairies, glades, and fields.
Media
Photo of ground plum, top of plant, showing flowers and several leaves.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Astragalus crassicarpus (formerly A. mexicanus)
Description
Ground plum is a legume that bears plumlike, edible fruits. Its short, spikelike clusters of pea flowers can be white, cream, yellow, pink, or violet.
Media
Photo of a Queen Anne's lace flower cluster, seen from the top
Species Types
Scientific Name
Daucus carota
Description
Queen Anne’s lace is many things to many people — roadside wildflower, noxious introduced weed, wild edible, medicinal herb, delightful cut flower. In Missouri, it blooms May through October.
Media
Red, or purple, clover flower head vied from the side
Species Types
Scientific Name
Trifolium pratense
Description
Red clover, or purple clover, is the familiar large, pinkish-purple clover that grows in lawns, pastures, and roadsides statewide. A Eurasian native, it was introduced to North America by the middle 1600s.
Media
Photo of sensitive brier flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mimosa quadrivalvis (also Schrankia nuttallii)
Description
Sensitive briar is a dainty-looking legume with delicate, twice-compound leaves and flower heads resembling magenta pom-poms. The long, tough stems are covered with tiny thorns that snag your feet as you walk.
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!