Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 10 of 14 results
Media
Photo of buffalo bur flower and leaves.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Solanum rostratum
Description
A spiny annual with bright yellow flowers and dandelion-like leaves, buffalo bur is an introduced member of the nightshade family.
Media
Photo of celandine poppy plant and flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Stylophorum diphyllum
Description
The showy, bright yellow flowers of celandine poppy really stand out in the shady woods and valleys where this plant grows. You should consider this species when you are planting a shade garden!
Media
Photo of columbine flower closeup
Species Types
Scientific Name
Aquilegia canadensis
Description
Native to much of eastern North America, eastern red columbine's range almost matches the breeding territory of the ruby-throated hummingbird, its number-one pollinator. Its bloom time matches the hummingbird's northward migration, too.
Media
Photo of common evening primrose, closeup of flowers.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Oenothera biennis
Description
True to its name, common evening primrose is the most common and widespread evening primrose in Missouri. It is most noticeable late in the season, when it reaches its greatest height and the flowers at the top are most visible.
Media
Photo of common ground cherry flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Physalis longifolia
Description
Common ground cherry is closely related to the tomatillo, which you’ve probably seen in the grocery store or had in a delicious salsa verde at a Mexican restaurant. The fruits of ground cherry are edible, too.
Media
Photo of field cress flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lepidium campestre
Description
Also called cow cress, field cress is an Old World plant that was introduced to America long ago. In Missouri, it is weedy and found mainly in disturbed habitats such as pastures and roadsides.
Media
Photo of hedge parsley flower clusters
Species Types
Scientific Name
Torilis arvensis
Description
Hedge parsley is an introduced plant that looks a lot like parsley. It was first collected in Missouri in 1909 and has become much more abundant in recent decades as it spreads along roadsides and railroads.
Media
Photo of horse nettle flowers and leaves
Species Types
Scientific Name
Solanum carolinense
Description
Horse nettle is a native perennial with spiny stems and leaves, white to purplish flowers, and toxic fruits that look like tiny yellow tomatoes. It does well in disturbed habitats, and many people consider it a weed.
Media
Photo of mayapple colony looking like numerous green umbrellas on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Podophyllum peltatum
Description
Mayapple is a common spring wildflower that makes its biggest impression with its leaves, which resemble umbrellas arising from a single stalk. It often grows in colonies.
Media
Photo of Michigan lily, or Turk’s cap lily, closeup of flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lilium michiganense
Description
This native lily looks a lot like the Asian “tiger lily” that is commonly cultivated in gardens. Michigan lily, however, has leaves mostly in whorls and lacks the round “bulblets” that tiger lily forms in its leaf axils.
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!