Of the three species of catalpas in our state, northern catalpa is the only one native to Missouri (specifically, the Bootheel region). It has been planted widely, though, in town and country, and has naturalized in many places. A popular ornamental and shade tree with pretty, orchidlike flowers and long, beanlike fruit.
Red buckeye and Ohio buckeye are both found in Missouri. You can distinguish red buckeye by its having usually 5 leaflets (not 7), its red (not greenish-yellow) flowers, and the absence of any spines on its fruit hulls. Although both buckeyes are cultivated statewide, red buckeye grows in the wild only in our southeastern counties.
Pin oak is one of the easiest trees to recognize by its shape alone: It has a tall, straight trunk, an overall pyramidal or conical shape and, most notably, the branches on the lower third of the tree angle downward. Pin oak grows faster than other oaks and is used extensively for street and yard planting.
Our state flower, the hawthorn, is solidly represented in Missouri. There are about 100 different kinds of hawthorns that occupy almost every kind of soil in every part of the state. These members of the rose family are closely related to apples.
Grown as an ornamental for its attractive pink flower clusters, its gracefully spreading branches, and its delicate leaves, this native of Asia is easily propagated and grows rapidly—unfortunately, it has become established as a weedy, invasive exotic in much of the state.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature. Read more about our mission.