Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 10 of 38 results
Media
American, or common boneset, flower clusters and upper stem leaves
Species Types
Scientific Name
Eupatorium perfoliatum
Description
American, or common boneset has small, white flowerheads in flat-topped clusters at the top of the plant. The leaves are hairy, narrowly triangular, and in opposite pairs fused around the stem.
Media
American bugleweed blooming on Tucker Prairie
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lycopus americanus
Description
Not the showiest of wildflowers, American bugleweed will catch your eye with its interesting geometry. The narrow, toothed leaves are opposite on the stalks and occur at right angles to the pair below.
Media
Photo of blue phlox (wild sweet William) plant with flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phlox divaricata
Description
A common, eye-catching native spring wildflower, blue phlox is found nearly statewide.
Media
Common chickweed plant in bloom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Stellaria media
Description
Common chickweed, native to Europe, has been introduced nearly worldwide and is a familiar garden weed in Missouri. It forms spreading mats on the ground and has small flowers with 5 petals, each deeply lobed making it look like 10.
Media
Photo of common milkweed flower cluster
Species Types
Scientific Name
Asclepias syriaca
Description
Common milkweed is famous as a food plant for monarch butterflies. It bears curious seedpods bearing seeds that fly on silky parachutes. It's common statewide in a variety of habitats.
Media
Photo of common St. John’s-wort flower with spent flowers and fruits
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hypericum perforatum
Description
In Europe, St. John’s-wort was long used as a medicinal herb and to ward off evil magic. Today, researchers are finding it can treat depression. Yet it poisons livestock and in some places is an invasive weed.
Media
Photo of corn salad plant flower clusters showing arrangement of buds.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Valerianella radiata
Description
At first glance, you might overlook corn salad, except for the large colonies it often forms. The young leaves can be eaten as a salad green, hence the name.
Media
Photo of dead nettle stalk with flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lamium purpureum
Description
Dead nettle, like its close relative henbit, is a common, weedy mint that, in early spring, can carpet wide patches of disturbed ground. Recognize dead nettle by the pyramidal look of its purple- or blue-tinted foliage.
Media
Photo of dittany flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cunila origanoides
Description
Sometimes called wild oregano, dittany, like true oregano, is a member of the mint family and can be used as a culinary herb and in teas. Look for it on dry, wooded slopes in Ozark counties.
Media
Photo of downy skullcap flower clusters
Species Types
Scientific Name
Scutellaria incana
Description
Showy clusters of blue-violet, two-lipped flowers adorn downy skullcap. This native mint is found mostly in the southern half of the state.
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!