Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 10 of 10 results
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 a bull thistle flowerhead.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cirsium vulgare
Description
Bull thistle is a weedy introduction from Europe, found statewide. To tell it from our other thistles, note its stems with spiny-margined wings, and its leaves with the upper surface strongly roughened with stiff, spiny bristles.
Media
Photo of Solomon’s seal flowers and leaves
Species Types
Scientific Name
Polygonatum biflorum
Description
Solomon's seal grows statewide in moist, rich earth. The greenish-white flowers dangle like little bells beneath the leaves, under the gracefully arching stems.
Media
Photo of Ohio horsemint inflorescence
Species Types
Scientific Name
Blephilia ciliata
Description
Square, unbranching stems, opposite leaves, two-lipped flowers, and a mild minty fragrance are clues Ohio horsemint is in the mint family. Tight, rounded flower clusters are stacked atop one another at the stem tips.
Media
Photo of self-heal flower head
Species Types
Scientific Name
Prunella vulgaris
Description
A square-stemmed plant with opposite leaves, self-heal bears two-lipped blue, lavender, or violet flowers in a cylindrical head. We have two varieties of self-heal in Missouri, one native and one introduced.
Media
Photo of Bradbury beebalm plant with pale flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Monarda bradburiana (sometimes M. russeliana)
Description
Also called horsemint and wild bergamot, Bradbury beebalm is a showy, fragrant plant that is a favorite of native plant gardeners. It’s also a favorite of Missouri’s butterflies!
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 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 wild bergamot or horsemint plant with lavender flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Monarda fistulosa
Description
Sometimes called beebalm, wild bergamot (or horsemint) is a native mint with a long history as a valued Missouri herb. Some people make tea from it, but most of us enjoy its large, colorful flowers.
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!