Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 results
Media
Photo of cleavers flower cluster with developing fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Galium aparine
Description
The tiny white flowers of this native plant are not very memorable, but the curious, sticky-feeling whorls of narrow leaves and lightweight, 4-sided stems make cleavers unique. And then there’s the tiny, round, “Velcro” covered balls of the seeds, which “stick tight” to your socks!
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
Photo of viper’s bugloss, closeup of flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Echium vulgare
Description
A biennial plant with bristly hairs and usually with single stems, viper’s bugloss can grow 2½ feet tall. The flowers are pink in bud, blue to ultramarine later. The protruding stamens are pink.
Media
Photo of soapweed, a type of yucca
Species Types
Scientific Name
Yucca smalliana, Y. glauca, and Y. arkansana
Description
Three species of yucca grow wild in Missouri. Spanish bayonet was introduced from the Southwest and has escaped from cultivation, but our two soapweeds are native.
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!