Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 10 of 94 results
Media
Common ragweed leaves
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ambrosia artemisiifolia
Description
Common ragweed is instantly recognizable by its ornate, 2–3 times pinnately lobed, hairy leaves. You’ve probably seen it many times and wondered what it was.
Media
Late boneset plant in bloom, vertical image
Species Types
Scientific Name
Eupatorium serotinum
Description
Late boneset, or late-flowering thoroughwort, is a native perennial wildflower with clusters of white, fuzzy-looking flowers. It’s one of nine similar-looking species of thoroughworts in Missouri.
Media
American blue hearts blooming flower stalk
Species Types
Scientific Name
Buchnera americana
Description
American bluehearts is a single or few-stalked wildflower of prairies and glades. It has distinctive, showy purple flowers that turn black as they age.
Media
Downy gentian flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gentiana puberulenta
Description
Downy gentian, or prairie gentian, is a beautifully blue or violet-blue wildflower with opposite leaves that blooms September through November in native grasslands.
Media
Photo of closed gentian flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gentiana andrewsii
Description
Closed gentian, or bottle gentian, never opens — it stays closed and budlike throughout the pollination process. How is it pollinated? Bumblebees push their way into the flowers!
Media
Photo of common gerardia plant with flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Agalinis tenuifolia (formerly Gerardia tenuifolia)
Description
Slender false foxglove, or common gerardia, is a small, showy wildflower with slender, opposite leaves and thin, wiry, branching stems. The small, funnel-shaped blossoms are pink or purple, with an upper lip that arches over the 4 hairy stamens.
Media
Photo of common boneset plant flower clusters.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Eupatorium spp.
Description
Nine white-flowering species of thoroughworts, or bonesets, have been recorded for Missouri. They have rounded flower clusters that look rather fuzzy, because each little composite flowerhead lacks petal-like ray florets.
Media
Eastern figwort flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Scrophularia marilandica
Description
Eastern figwort occurs statewide in rich woods, woodland borders, and bottomlands. It’s usually 2-5 feet high, has square stems and lance-shaped, toothed leaves, and bears spreading clusters of small, green scoop-shaped flowers with brown petal lobes.
Media
Sweet autumn virginsbower (autumn clematis) flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Clematis terniflora
Description
Sweet autumn virgin’s bower, also called autumn clematis, is a nonnative, invasive perennial vine that spreads aggressively and climbs rapidly over any support. In late summer, it produces dense clusters of white, sweet-smelling flowers, which mature into fuzzy seed masses.
Media
Photo of blue-eyed Mary flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Collinsia verna
Description
The flowers of blue-eyed Mary are only about a half inch wide, but this pretty wildflower makes up for it by usually appearing in abundance, covering a patch of forest floor with little sky-blue and white “faces.”
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!