Simple, Broad-leaved Trees
- 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.
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.
||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.
(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
|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
(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.
||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
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.
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
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.
||Cornus kousa (Chinese,
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.
(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.
||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.
||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
||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.
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.
||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
|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.
||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
|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.
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.
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
||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.
||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.
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.
(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.
||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
|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.
||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
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
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
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.
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.
||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.
- 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
|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.
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