Sugar MapleleafSimple, Broad-leaved Trees green leaf

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Non-lobed - leaves either with a smooth margin or serrated (with teeth) and of many shapes - elliptical, oval, linear, heart-shaped, etc. The following set of trees has leaves that fall into this category.

Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family) This is a small family, consisting of only a few genera.  Members have leathery, evergreen leaves.  They are alternate and simple, and most have sharp teeth in the margins.

American Holly Ilex opaca (American Holly) - There are several holly trees on campus, usually acting as a backdrop for landscaping - against the wall of buildings.  The old Holly tree off of the U drive through in the old part of campus, recently died and has been cut down.   The leaves and berries of Hollies are quite recognizable - seen frequently in Christmas arrangements.  The American Holly appears in Missouri in the Southeast.

Anacardiaceae (Cashew Family) Many people have developed intimate relationships with members of this family without the realization of such. Within this family is Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac. Poison ivy is not included in the image portion of this page, but it does form small trees at times and is probably looming somewhere on campus. It manages to find its way well into urban situations. Other notable members of the family include the Mango, Pistachio and Cashew. These, of course, do not appear on campus. Most have compound leaves, but the family is included here because the only member on campus has simple leaves.

Cotinus obovatus (Smoke Tree) - A very unique looking tree, the Smoke tree has blooms that look like smoke.  Common cultivars are purple - with purple leaves and purple blooms.  The leaves are elliptical and tend to be whorled around the stem and crowded toward the tip of the branch.  This is a native tree, occuring on limestone bluffs in Missouri.   Missouri State's only specimens grow next to the road on the West side of the Public Affairs Classroom Building and further up the road on the corner of Madison and Holland.  The Cotinus pictured is not the same species but has the same type of flowers.  It's possible to see where it gets the "Smoke" part of its common name. A very unique looking tree, the Smoke tree has blooms that look like smoke.

Annonaceae (Custard Apple Family) Most of the members of this family live in the tropical or sub-tropical regoins.  They have simple, alternate leaves and many, including our own representative, have edible fruit.

Paw Paw Asimina triloba (Paw Paw) - This is perhaps one of the strangest trees in the area.  It is native to Missouri and usually occurs in dense thickets in low-lying areas.  The fruit looks somewhat like a banana and is edible.   Although the leaves are simple, there are many on one stem and fan out - giving it the appearance of a compound-leaved tree.  The only specimen on campus (and perhaps in the city) is on the corner of Madison and National.  It's not too big, but is larger than most Paw Paws.

Betulaceae (Birch Family) - There are several genera native to Missouri in this family.  Corylus (Hazelnut) grows throughout the state as does Ostrya (Hophornbeam).  One birch, Betula nigra (River Birch) is native to Missouri.  Most members have simple, alternate leaves with serrated margins.  Bark often has lenticels - horizontal, narrow openings in the bark that allow for gas exchange.

Betula nigra (River Birch) - This species has tan, peeling bark that many people associate with Birch.  Wood of these trees is used to make boxes and plywood.  They grow very fast and are short-lived.  On campus they appear around the north parking garage, the Southeast side of Glass Hall and there is one tree in front of Woods Hall.  The images to the right are of paper birch, Betula papyrifera, which does not appear on campus. Birch leaves Birch bark

Bignoniaceae (Trumpet Creeper Family) - This is a family of mostly woody vines, shrubs and trees.   Leaves are opposite or whorled.  The Trumpet Creeper occurs on roadsides all over the midwest, climbing on everything near it. 

Catalpa speciosa (Catalpa) - The Catalpa trees are probably the oldest on campus.  There are pictures of the campus in the late 50's and the Catalpa that grows in front of Siceluff can be seen - it was already rather large (It's pictured to the right).  They are easy to recognize by their huge, heart-shaped leaves and long bean-like fruits.  They're very tall and very big around.  The growth habit is rather unique, but indescribable.  The old part of campus has several of these massive specimens.  They're interspersed with the Dawn Redwoods around the edge of the lawn.  Catalpa

Cornaceae (Dogwood Family) - This is a family of mostly shrubs and vines.  Characteristics carry a broad range within the family.  Missouri has three native members of the genus Cornus and one or two others are also used as landscape plants.

Chinese Dogwood Cornus kousa (Chinese, or Kousa Dogwood) - The chinese or "kousa" dogwoods on campus died of some sort of dogwood blight that does not seem to have affected the flowering dogwoods (C. florida).  Kousa dogwoods are small and tough to discern from Cornus florida without the flowers or fruits.  Chinese Dogwood blooms after the leaves appear and the fruits are larger and more spherical than Cornus florida.
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) - This is the Missouri State tree - and it's quite deserving of that role.  It grows all throughout the state in many different soil types.  It blooms in the Spring for as long as a month and forms a white layer halfway up the height of forests.  Leaves are opposite and appear after the blooms.   The bright part of the bloom is actually four modified leaves or bracts.  The inconspicuous flowers are bunched inside of those bracts.  Missouri State has many dogwoods.   There are several in the area behind the Union and many others underneath larger trees.  The Dogwood pictured grows in front of Freddy. Flowering Dogwood

Magnoliaceae (Magnolia Family) - This is one of the oldest family of flowering plants.  Members have very large, conspicuous flowers, often with a fruity smell.  They are all woody and have alternate leaves with smooth margins (entire).  Magnolia has unlobed leaves, but the Tulip Tree (Liriodendron) has lobed leaves.  It, however is included here with the rest of its family.

Cucumber Tree Magnolia acuminata (Cucumber Tree) - This is the only Magnolia native to Missouri.  It ranges up into the Southeast part of the state.  The tree gets its name from the large cucumber shaped winter buds.  The flowers are white and appear very early in Spring, often nipped by cold weather in Springfield.  There are two of these on either side of the West entrance to Siceluff Hall and a larger one on the Northeast side of Pummil Hall.
Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia) - Southern Magnolia is evergreen.   (The winters in its native region are more mild than Ozark winters)  The leaves are shiny and large.  Flowers are also large and white and blooming lasts throughout the summer months.  Most Ozark specimens are not large, but it can be quite large.  One notable representative grows on the North side of Pummil, by the raised sidewalk.
Magnolia X soulangeana (Saucer Magnolia) -  This is also called Tulip Magnolia or Tulip Tree, which creates confusion with its brother, Lirodendron, which is also called Tulip Tree.  As evident by the X in the scientific name, this is a cultivated species - a hybrid.  It has large white and pink flowers early in the Spring.  The leaves are large and deciduous.  As the Cucumber Tree, it also has large fuzzy buds in the winter, but can usually be discerned by its larger and pink flowers. Tulip Tree
Yellow Poplar Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree) - This is aslo called Yellow Poplar, but it is not a Poplar and doesn't really even resemble one.  The characteristics of this species are unique.  The leaves are lobed, but it's included here with the rest of the Magnoliaceae.  The strangely shaped leaves resemble no other plant.  The flowers look a bit like a tulip and are green and orange (two strange colors for a flower).  Recently, the tree has been used in toxic dumps, to clean the area.   It absorbs many heavy metals such as lead and mercury at no evident cost to the tree.   This is a massive tree - native to parts of the Eastern U.S.  There are 3 of these on campus, 2 on the North side of Craig Hall and one on the West side of Hill Hall.

Rosaceae (Rose Family) - This is a large and well-known family and it is well represented on the Missouri State campus.  This family includes many familiar fruit trees and vines.  The Apple, Pear, Blackberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry and Plum are all members of this family, as are the Rose and Hawthorn.  All members have 5 petals and usually alternate leaves with conspicuous stipules at the leaf base. (Some hybrids have many more than 5 petals)

Amelanchier arborea (Serviceberry) - This also goes by the name Shadbush, so named becuase it blooms at the time the Shad return to spawn in the Spring.  It's native to the Ozarks and is well represented on campus.  They line the North and South sides of Glass Hall and the Northeast entrance to Temple Hall.  Flowers are white and short-lived.  Leaves are finely serrated and alternate.  The bark is smooth, grey and spotted, becoming forrowed (grooved) in older specimens. Shadbush
Hawthorn Crataegus sp. (Hawthorn) - There may be more than one or even several species of Hawthorn growing on campus.   They all have very similar characteristics.  The flower is Missouri's state flower and is usually white or pink.  The red fruits persist throughout the winter.   The twigs often have thorns, but many cultivars do not.  It is a small tree and forms several small trunks.  Many of these line the roads and parking lots of Missouri State.
Malus soulardii (Crabapple) - Malus is the Greek name for apple.  The flowers of Crabapple can be white, light pink and dark pink.  Leaves can also be dark red.  On campus, the most stately specimen lives on the Northeast side of the stadium, shading a little courtyard area.  The leaves appear just before the flowers and are alternate, as other Rosaceae members.
Black Cherry Prunus serotina (Black Cherry) - Two individuals of this species live on campus.  There is one on the very Southeast corner of the campus - just off the intersection of National.  There is one growing in the playground behind Cheek and another just a few meters away.  Black Cherry is a prolific Missouri native, appearing all over the state and reproducing easily.  The wood of the tree is used for fine furniture and is valued nearly as highly as Walnut for such.  The leaves of Black Cherry are small and glossy and alternate.  They persist later and appear earlier than many other species.   The flowers are white clumps and form small black fruits.
Pyrus calleryana (Flowering Pear) - Also known as Bradford Pear or Ornamental Pear, this tree is one of the most frequently planted around cities.  This is largely because of its uniform shape, early bloom and colorful fall foliage.  The leaves are thick and glossy and very similar to Cottonwood leaves.  Around campus, these trees are showing the effect of being out of their native range.  They lose leaves very late - probably because a similar time of year in their native range sees more mild weather.  This often results in broken branches during fall ice storms becuase the leaves provide more surface area for the freezing rain.  Many individuals have recently been cut down after loosing large portions. Flowering Pear

Tiliaceae (Linden Family) - Most members are woody and have alternate, simple leaves.  The family has a cosmopolitan distribution. Only one member is represented on campus. The European Linden, for which the family is named, is planted in Springfield, but not on campus.

Tilia americana (American Basswood) - This is similar to Tilia cordata (European Linden Tree).  Basswood has large heart-shaped leaves with uneven bases.  The leaves turn dark yellow in autumn.  Bark is smooth and growth habit is straight and spreading, eventually forming a large shade tree.  The Missouri State Basswoods are primarily around the softball field and an adjacent parking lot.  There is also a large specimen behind the Union, two on the Northwest corner of Wells (pictured), and another behind Craig Hall. American Basswood

Ulmaceae (Elm Family) - The Elm family is primarily woody, with alternate leaves and small flowers.  In Missouri, there are two native species of Celtis and three native species of Ulmus.  There are also several non-native Ulmus species planted.  All have similar growth habits - that of a vase shape.

Hackberry Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry) - This is a tree that seems to be often overlooked or forgotten.  It has no really special features, but it happens to be one of Missouri's most common natives.  One specimen on campus is hard to overlook.   It towers above the sidewalk in between Cheek and Siceluff on the South side.   These trees can be identified quickly by their warty bark and translucent leaves.   The leaves are sparsely toothed (often with smooth margins) and alternate.   They sometimes carry purple fruits on their branches.
American Elm Ulmus americana (American Elm) - The American Elm has had its reputation as a stately standard of yards damaged by the Dutch Elm Disease.  When allowed to reach full maturity, it forms a massive crown, twice the width of the height.  The disease is carried by a bark beetle that bores into the wood.  American Elm has alternate, serrated leaves.  They are often glossy when exposed to the sun and vary in size, also according to sunlight.  On campus, there are two American Elms off of the Northeast corner of Hammons Student Center.  There are a few others, lining the same street (Harrison) further East.  The largest specimen grows on the lawn on the North side of Cheek Hall, close to National.
Ulmus parviflora (Chinese Elm) - The Chinese Elm is often planted in place of American Elm becuase it is resistant to the Dutch Elm Disease.   It is not as large and generally has smaller leaves.  The bark has a reddish appearance and much different than that of other elms.  There are a few of these mixed in with the Dawn Redwoods in the old part of campus.
Note - For information and images of the following simple-leaved trees, go to the directed areas:  Cercis canadensis (Redbud) (large heart-shaped leaves, shown in flower to the right) and Chionanthus virginicus (Fringe-Tree)(opposite, simple, smooth-margined leaves shown in flower to the right) - go to the compound-leaved page, for Quercus imbricaria (Shingle Oak), Quercus acutissima (Sawtooth Oak) or Fagus grandifolia (American Beech) (Beech and Sawtooth Oak have simple, toothed leaves shown on the right and Shingle Oak has smooth margined leaves, but is not pictured here) - go to the lobed section of this page, just below.  Cerciscanadensis Fagus grandifolia
Chionanthus virginicus

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Lobed Leaves - leaves have sections were the blade is parted.  Lobes follow the venation and therefore may be palmate, such as maples and pinnate, such as oaks.

Aceraceae (Maple Family) - This family is perhaps the best represented on the Missouri State campus.  There are 5 members represented.   Maples have simple, palmately-lobed leaves except for one species - the Boxelder, which has compound leaves.  There may be two Boxelders on campus, growing behind the Union. If they are not Boxelders, they are closely related.   It is hard to determine because there are many cultivars of Boxelder.  Maples have very distinctive fruits.   They are winged and act like a helicopter in air, aiding in distribution of each species.

Acer ginnala (Amur Maple)- This very shrubby species occurs all over the campus, interspersed with Hawthorns along roadsides.  There are many along J.Q. Hammons Parkway.   They are bright red in Fall and provide a line of color.  These maples don't have leaves like most.  They are not lobed, but could be considered lobed - they are deeply toothed.  They form many trunks and remain small through aldulthood. Amur Maple
Japanese Maple Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) - Despite the fact that these are becoming very popluar in yards all over the Midwest, Missouri State only has a few.  They are all around the edges of Craig Hall.  (There is also one on the East side of Kentwood Hall)  The leaves have 7 - 11 lobes and are dark red throughout the year.   Smaller specimens have leaves even more deeply divided and resemble marijuana.  They often die back in the outer branches.
Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) - This is one of the best represented trees on campus.  There are several in the old section of campus - in front of Carrington and Hill, and several more in front of McDonald Arena.  Perhaps the best time to identify Sugar Maples is in the fall, when they are bright orange.  No other tree can match their color.  The leaves also have a famous shape.  They're represented on the Canadian flag.   As the common name indicates, this is maple from which maple syrup is derived.  Although New England is known for this species, they are also native to the Ozarks and very old specimens can be found around town.   They can be very large and sometimes die out in the crown in old age.  Bark is light grey in young specimens and very dark and layered in older specimens.   Sugar Maple
Silver Maple Acer saccharinum (Silver Maple) - The Silver Maple is another Missouri native - growing in lowland areas and sometimes forming dense poplulations there.  There are only a handful of representatives on the Missouri State campus.  The largest one is on the West side of the library.  There are a couple more directly in front of McDonald Arena.  This species has probably the largest leaves of the maples and 5 to 7 lobes.  It forms a spreading crown upon age and can have very large trunks - a much different growth habit than other maples.  The Silver Maple gets its name from the whitish underside of the leaves.
Acer rubrum (Red Maple) - There are plenty of Red Maples on campus.  They are planted for there red fall foliage and red spring blooms.  Four fine specimens grow in between the Union and Wells and there a many lining the edges of parking lots.  They keep a rather uniform habit and are usually small.  Each of these characteristics can distinguish the species from Silver Maple.  They have leaves with 3 or 5 lobes and often red petioles (leaf stems).  The bark is light grey and smooth.     Red Maple

Fagaceae (Beech Family) - Members of this family have alternate, pinnately veined leaves.  Most have lobed leaves so the family is included here.  Castanea (Chestnut), and Fagus (Beech) do not have lobed leaves, but Fagus is included here becuase most Oaks do have lobed leaves. The family has members all throughout the world and several in the U.S.

Fagus grandifolia (American Beech) - This tree is easy to recognize by its smooth bark and large branches.  This bark attracts people to carve initials.  On campus, there are two fine specimens in front of Cheek Hall.  The leaves are sharply toothed and glossy.  It is native to the state only in Southeastern Missouri. American Beech
Sawtooth Oak Quercus acutissima (Sawtooth Oak) - This is one of two oaks on campus without lobes.  The leaves resemble those of Chestnut - very sharply toothed and thick.  The two specimens of the Missouri State campus grow West of the bookstore - one on the Southwest corner and the other across the street, East of Blair-Shannon.   The individual on the corner is pictured.
Quercus imbricaria (Shingle Oak) - Of the several native Oaks, this is one of just a few without lobed leaves.  The leaves have smooth margins.  Growth habit is similar to that of Pin Oak - one very straight trunk and stout side branches.  In Missouri, there distribution ranges mostly out of the Ozarks, possibly because it enjoys richer soils.  There is one large individual in between Wells and Siceluff and another just off of Madison before National Street.
Burr Oak Quercus macrocarpa (Burr Oak) - The Burr Oak is easily distinguished from its brothers by the acorn (fruit).  It has a large, hairy cap and is bigger than other acorns.  The leaves are also larger than other Oaks and have many lobes.  There are two divisions within the Oaks, the White Oaks and Red Oaks.  The White Oaks have curved margins and the Red Oaks have pointed margins.  The Burr Oak is in the White Oak category.  There are two, large, multiple-trunked specimens behind the Union - West of McDonald Arena.  This is one of the most widely distributed Oaks in the U.S.
Pin Oak Quercus palustris (Pin Oak) - Pin Oaks have become popular in yards becuase of their uniform shape and fast growth.   They enjoy rich, wet soil and can reach gigantic proportions.  The leaves are very deeply lobed, creating sharp points in the margins. The bark is grey and smooth, which is key in identification.  (It's less smooth in younger individuals)   Branches are perpindicular to the trunk halfway up and bottom branches actually hang down.  This is an identifying feature of Pin Oaks.  In Missouri, they have a distribution similar to that of Shingle Oak - mostly out of the Ozarks.  Off the Southwest corner of Siceluff, grows a large Pin Oak and along the side of Kemper grow several smaller specimens.  Two medium-sized trees exist on the West side of Freddy. Pin Oak
English Oak Quercus robur (English Oak) - Among the most commonly planted Oaks is the English Oak.  It is very similar to our native White Oak (which unfortunately does not appear on campus).   They can be distinguished based on the following characteristics:  The leaves are smaller, more shallowly lobed and generally smaller.  The bark is more deeply furrowed (grooved) and the acorns are smaller.  English Oak occurs in two areas of campus - one of them is new.  Several small trees were just planted around the satelite dishes Northwest of Glass Hall.  Two large trees grow on the Southeast side of the football stadium, just off of Grand.
Quercus rubra (Red Oak) - Many resources list this as Northern Red Oak (there is also a Southern Red Oak).    As others in the Red Oak tribe, this tree grows very straight, forming tall majestic trunks in forests.  The leaves have many shallow lobes and are less glossy than Black Oak or Pin Oak.   The acorn is the best distinguishing feature of this species.  It is quite large with a small cap.  There is a line of Red Oaks on campus on the West side of the bookstore and Taylor Health Center.  This line is pictured to the right.  There are many other Red Oaks on campus, including one on the Northwest corner of Temple Hall, and a large one in between Freddy and the Union. Red Oak

Note - Black Oak (Quercus velutina) may be on campus, mis-identified as Red Oak.  They are very similar.  Black Oak tends to have more deeply lobed leaves and fewer lobes.  The petioles are usually yellow and the leaves are generally more glossy than Red Oak.  The bark is more deeply furrowed than Red Oak and the growth habit is different.  All of these characteristics, however are merely tendencies and there is a lot of middle ground.   This is the main cause for the difficulty in identification.  The best character to use is the acorn.  The Black Oak acorn is much smaller - and it almost always is.  The Oak on the corner of Monroe and JQ Hammons Parkway is probably a Black Oak.  It's quite large.

Ginkgoaceae (Ginkgo Family) - The one species in this family is not closely related to any other broadleaved trees listed here.  It's actually a conifer, more closely related to Pines and other cone-bearing trees.  The cones of Ginkgo look like berries.

Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo) - This is also called a Maidenhair tree.  Ancient Chinese can probably be credited for the existance of this ancient relic.  They probably kept the tree around for religious purposes.  Today it is prized for its remedies of  low energy.  The leaves are certainly unique to the species.   They are shaped like a fan, with a small slit in the middle.  There are several Ginkgos around campus.  They're often planted in parking lots because they deal well with exhaust/pollution well.  There are two Ginkgos behind Siceluff on the Northwest side and one on the Northeast side of Carrington. Ginkgo

Hamamelidaceae (Witch Hazel Family) - This is a woody family of shrubs and trees.  The genus for which the family is named, Hamamelis, is native to Missouri.  Members have simple, often palmately lobed, alternate leaves.

Sweet Gum Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum) - Sweet Gum occurs all over campus.  It's popular because of the unique shape of its leaves, colorful fall foliage and conical shape in youth.  Around campus there is a large specimen just South of Wells, off of the main walk.  Two fine trees grow on either side of the front entrance to Freddy.  The leaves have a unique star shape and are alternate.  The fruit is also unique and is a spiky ball (pictured) that is often seen on the ground in masses throughout the Winter.  One of the most interesting characteristics of Sweet Gum is the fall foliage.  Each leaf can go through the entire spectrum of colors - going from green to purple to dark red to orange to yellow.  The tree can be large and forms a strange habit in old age.   The range of Sweet Gum is mostly South of Missouri, but does reach into the bootheal.

Platanaceae (Plane Tree Family) - Only the genus, Platanus comprises this family and there only a few species of that genus.  They grow in temperate regions of the world and have alternate, palmately lobed, simple leaves.  They are all very similar, and many are planted in cities all over the world.

Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore) - Known simply as Sycamore, this is also often called Plane Tree.   There is a point of confusion here because many Eastern cities have planted the European Sycamore, known sometimes as the London Plane Tree.  American Sycamore is easily Missouri's largest native tree.  It occurs all over the state next to rivers and creeks, reaching heights beyond that of the rest of the canopy and amazing trunk sizes.  The Missouri State champion was around 8 feet in diameter.  The bark is probably the best recognition tool.  The newer portions of the tree has patches of white and brown and peels.  The older portions have light brown bark.  The leaves are also large and shallowly, palmately lobed.  The fruit is a brown ball that releases fluffy seeds.  It is one of the last trees to loose leaves in the Fall and the last to gain them in the Spring.  A large specimen grows on the West side of Craig Hall and another on the East side of Pummil.  There are a few others on campus also. American Sycamore
Note - For information and images of the lobed Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree/Yellow Poplar), see the unlobed section above.  It's included with the rest of its family.  Tulip Tree/Yellow Poplar

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