Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 10 of 154 results
Media
Common violet, closeup of flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Viola sororia
Description
The common violet can be violet, white, or white with violet mottling or spots. One of 17 species or violets in Missouri, it occurs statewide in a variety of habitats. Note its heart-shaped or rounded, scalloped leaves, and (usually) the presence of hairs on stems and/or foliage.
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.”
Media
Photo of Miami mist flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phacelia purshii
Description
An annual, spring-blooming wildflower, Miami mist has loose coils of small blue flowers with distinctive, delicate fringes on the petal lobes.
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 pale corydalis leaves and yellow flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Corydalis flavula
Description
The smooth, finely divided, fernlike foliage of pale corydalis is similar to that of the related wildflower Dutchman’s breeches. But in pale corydalis, the small yellow flowers appear tubelike and lipped.
Media
Photo of dwarf larkspur flowers with leaf
Species Types
Scientific Name
Delphinium tricorne
Description
Dwarf larkspur is a single-stemmed perennial with an upright flower stalk bearing racemes of bluish-purple flowers. Like other larkspurs, there is a spurlike appendage behind each flower.
Media
Photo of white sweet clover flower cluster showing stalk and flowers.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Melilotus albus and M. officinale
Description
These two species of sweet clover are present all over America. Although they have been planted for forage, as bee plants, and as nitrogen-fixers, white and yellow sweet clover are now classified as invasive for their weediness and the problems they pose for natural habitats.
Media
Photo of Dutchman's breeches plant with flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dicentra cucullaria
Description
Dutchman’s breeches, a common spring wildflower, is easy to identify. Note its bluish-green, fernlike leaves and its leafless stalks, from which dangle several white flowers shaped like old-fashioned knee breeches.
Media
Photo of early buttercup plant with flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ranunculus fascicularis
Description
There are nearly 20 species in the genus Ranunculus in Missouri. Identify early buttercup by its early blooming time, its distinctively shaped, usually hairy leaves, and its preference for open woods, glades, or prairies.
Media
Photo of Jacob's ladder plant showing leaves and flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Polemonium reptans
Description
As pretty as this wildflower is, the common name “Jacob’s Ladder” comes from its ladderlike leaves, which made people think of the story from Genesis in which Jacob dreams of a ladder reaching up to heaven.
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!