Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results
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 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 tall thistle plants with flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cirsium altissimum
Description
Tall thistle is a native thistle that can grow to be 10 feet tall! To identify it, notice its leaves, which are unlobed (though they may be wavy or have only shallow, broad lobes), are felty-hairy beneath, and have prickles only along the edges.
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!