Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results
Media
Photo of several cattail flowering stalks
Species Types
Scientific Name
Typha spp.
Description
Missouri’s cattails are all tall wetland plants with narrow, upright leaves emerging from a thick base, and a central stalk bearing a brown, sausage-shaped flower spike.
Media
Photo of common reed plants in large colony
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phragmites australis australis
Description
Common reed is both native and exotic, but it’s the exotic subspecies that has become an invasive problem. Taking over wetlands with its dense stands, it changes the plant and animal communities and even the way the water flows.
Media
Photo of orange day lily flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hemerocallis fulva
Description
Native to Europe and Asia, orange day lily was widely planted by early settlers and has become widely naturalized in North America. The seeds don't mature in Missouri, so all the plants here are spread by root divisions.
Media
Photo of slender mountain mint flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
Description
Slender mountain mint has smooth, square stems, opposite, narrow leaves, and dense heads of 2-lipped white (or lavender) flowers. Aromatic and minty, it can be grown at home in the herb garden, and its leaves used for seasoning food.
Media
Photo of smooth spiderwort flowers being visited by beelike syrphid flies
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tradescantia ohiensis
Description
Smooth spiderwort is the most common and widely distributed of Missouri's spiderworts. It has slender, straight or zigzag stems. The long, narrow leaves are folded lengthwise and attach to the stem in a thick node. The 3 petals of the triangular flower are blue, rose, purple, lavender, or white.
Media
Photo of pink wild onion flower clusters
Species Types
Scientific Name
Allium stellatum
Description
Wild onion is edible and is also favored by native-plant gardeners, who enjoy its showy umbels of pink flowers and tolerance of dry, rocky sites. This Ozark species blooms in summer and fall.
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!