Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 6 of 6 results
Media
Photo of buffalo bur flower and leaves.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Solanum rostratum
Description
A spiny annual with bright yellow flowers and dandelion-like leaves, buffalo bur is an introduced member of the nightshade family.
Media
Photo of common jimsonweed flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Datura stramonium
Description
Pretty but poisonous, jimsonweed has white goblet-shaped flowers that open around midnight. This native of tropical America was introduced nearly throughout the United States and thrives in disturbed soils.
Media
Photo of horse nettle flowers and leaves
Species Types
Scientific Name
Solanum carolinense
Description
Horse nettle is a native perennial with spiny stems and leaves, white to purplish flowers, and toxic fruits that look like tiny yellow tomatoes. It does well in disturbed habitats, and many people consider it a weed.
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 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 cut-leaved teasel showing flowerhead and joined, cuplike leaves.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dipsacus fullonum and D. laciniatus
Description
“Infestation” is the term for what teasels are doing in Missouri. Learn to identify these thistlelike plants, and help to control the weedy spread of these tough, prickly invaders.
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!