Field Guide

Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants

Showing 1 - 10 of 124 results
Media
Photo of showy partridge pea showing flowers, buds, and leaves.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Chamaecrista fasciculata (formerly Cassia fasciculata)
Description
The interesting, bright yellow flowers of showy partridge pea are immediately recognizable. At night, the leaflets close and pull upward into a sleeping position.
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 blue phlox (wild sweet William) plant with flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phlox divaricata
Description
A common, eye-catching native spring wildflower, blue phlox is found nearly statewide.
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 wood nettle leaves at top of plant.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Laportea canadensis
Description
Wood nettle, or stinging nettle, often forms dense stands in bottomland forests, streamsides, and other places. There, canoeists, anglers, and others try to avoid touching its stinging hairs!
Media
Photo of viper’s bugloss, closeup of flower
Species Types
Scientific Name
Echium vulgare
Description
A biennial plant with bristly hairs and usually with single stems, viper’s bugloss can grow 2½ feet tall. The flowers are pink in bud, blue to ultramarine later. The protruding stamens are pink.
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 horseweed flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Conyza canadensis (formerly Erigeron canadensis)
Description
Horseweed looks something like a goldenrod, except that the tiny composite flowers are not yellow. Instead, they are cream-colored and rather drab. In Missouri, this plant is especially associated with disturbed habitats and is a troublesome crop weed.
Media
Photo of elephant's foot closeup of flowers
Species Types
Scientific Name
Elephantopus carolinianus
Description
You may not recognize elephant’s foot as a member of the daisy or sunflower family because it lacks petal-like ray florets. Also, it has unusual, doubly compound flower clusters. And how did it get its name, anyway?
Media
Photo of ox-eye daisies in a grassy field
Species Types
Scientific Name
Leucanthemum vulgare (formerly Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Description
Ox-eye daisy, though familiar, is not native to North America. It was introduced long ago from Eurasia. Common in grassy uplands, pastures, fencerows, and roadsides, it can colonize aggressively in the garden.
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!