Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results
Media
Photo of glade coneflower flowerhead showing yellow pollen
Species Types
Scientific Name
Echinacea simulata
Description
One of Missouri’s five types of echinaceas, glade coneflower is distinguished by its yellow pollen, drooping pink or purple ray flowers, and narrow, tapering leaves. Look for it in the eastern Ozarks, and at native plant nurseries!
Media
Photo of pale purple coneflower showing white pollen among disk florets
Species Types
Scientific Name
Echinacea pallida
Description
One of Missouri's five types of echinacea, pale purple coneflower is distinguished by its white pollen, drooping pink or purple ray flowers, and narrow, tapering leaves. It occurs nearly statewide, except for the Bootheel lowlands.
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 a cornflower, closeup of a flowerhead.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Centaurea cyanus
Description
A native of Europe, cornflower is a popular garden flower that often escapes to nearby areas. It’s used in bridal bouquets and men’s boutonnieres. Its intense blue color appears in boxes of crayons!
Media
A cluster of white flowers with pink-tinged tips around a yellow daisylike center.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Erigeron philadelphicus
Description
The antique belief that this plant might repel fleas gives the fleabanes their name. There are more than 170 fleabanes in the genus Erigeron in North America. This one is scattered to common nearly throughout Missouri. Native Americans used this species medicinally for a variety of ailments.
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!