Invitation to the Arkansas Native Plant Fall Meeting

Scarlet Rose Mallow

Scarlet Rose Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus)  The flower pictured is from a plant purchased last fall at the Arkansas Native Plant Society (ANPS) Native Plant Auction.  If you are looking for native plants that are hard to find, this is the place for you!  Picture by Mike Weatherford

October 10-12, 2014

The fall meeting of the Arkansas Native Plant Society (ANPS) will be held in Texarkana, Arkansas with field trips to surrounding parks and natural areas. Please plan to join us as we tour some of the unique habitats of the West Gulf Coastal Plain, including chalk woodlands, blackland prairies, and sandhills.


Holiday Inn Express and Suites Hotel Texarkana East
5210 Crossroads Pkwy, Texarkana, AR 71854
Phone: (870) 216-0083

ANPS has reserved a block of 30 rooms (25 double queens and 5 kings) at the reduced rate of $89.00 plus tax per night. This rate includes high-speed wireless internet and a hot breakfast each morning. Reservations must be received by September 26, 2014 to guarantee the reduced rate. Be sure to mention that you are attending the Arkansas Native Plant Society meeting when making your reservation.

Several other hotels are located in the immediate area, including:

Comfort Suites – (870) 216-8084
Hampton Inn – (870) 774-4267
Best Western Plus – (870) 774-1534

Meals: Potluck snacks will be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings. Drinks will be provided by ANPS. Please feel free to bring a dish or snack to share. All other meals are on your own. Texarkana has many restaurant options, including well-known local spots such as Bryce’s Cafeteria and Cattleman’s Steakhouse, and a couple large grocery stores near the hotel.

Some notes about the field trips:  We will provide full information about field trip locations on Friday evening.

Some of the prospective field trips are located in areas that have very few restaurant options. You may want to come prepared with lunch supplies in case we aren’t able to find a place to eat between the morning and afternoon walks on Saturday.



5:30-7:00 pm: REGISTRATION   Public Welcome.   Not a member yet?  For more information about being a member of the Arkansas Native Plant Society click here.

Registration costs $5.00 per person and occurs in the Newcrest Meeting Room of the Holiday Inn and Suites.   (No preregistration is required.)

Sign-up sheets for Saturday and Sunday field trips will also be available, along with descriptions of each trip.


The fall meeting begins with the annual native plant auction, which raises funds for our scholarships and grants program. This informal and fun auction features native plants grown by our members. Items such as books, seeds, plant presses, jams and jellies, and crafts are also often included in the auction. If you have something to donate, please bring it with you and give it to one of the meeting organizers to add to the auction.


8:30 A.M.  Field trips depart from the hotel parking lot.


Theo Witsell, botanist with the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, will talk on the subject, “Habitats and Rare Plants of Southwest Arkansas”.

Business Meeting will follow the evening presentation.


8:30 A.M.  Field trips depart from the hotel parking lot.

ANPS Shirts:  Remember, shirts are only available for sale at the spring and fall meetings.  Please do not ask to reserve one or that we mail you one.  We can’t.  For more information about the ANPS Shirts, click here.  (See website under About.)

Questions?  Contact Jennifer Ogle at and 479-957-6859.

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Know Your Natives – Starry and Wholeleaf Rosinweeds

Are They Sunflowers?

Rosinweeds (Silphium species) and sunflowers (Helianthus species) are in the Asteraceae (Aster) Family.  Rosinweeds and sunflowers are herbaceous perennials with yellow composite flowers (ray florets with strap-shaped petals, disk florets with petals fused into small tubes) on top of tall rough stalks with simple leaves.  Rosinweeds and sunflowers produce an odd assortment of flowers or florets, some fertile and some sterile, some of the fertile perfect (with functional male and female parts) and some of the fertile unisexual, that is, pistillate or staminate.  For rosinweeds, ray florets are pistillate and fertile while disk florets are staminate, producing pollen but no seeds; however, for sunflowers, the ray florets are entirely sterile, producing neither seeds nor functional pollen, while disk florets are fertile and perfect, taking on all of the reproductive chores, and leaving the rays to look pretty and attract pollinators.  For rosinweeds, styles of fertile ray florets are divided (bifurcate) as are the styles of the perfect disk florets of the sunflowers.  The staminate ray florets of rosinweed are undivided–an uncommon character for the composites.

Starry Rosinweed Starry rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus), the “type species” (see footnote) for the Silphium genus, is found from Texas to Illinois to Virginia and southward to the Gulf.  It grows throughout most of western and central Arkansas but infrequently in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain.   Plants grow naturally in prairies, meadows, open forests and woodlands, and roadsides.  Plants three or more feet tall may have one or more stems.  Stems feel rough to touch (scabrous) due to stiff hairs.  Upright in sunny areas, stems in more shaded areas tend to recline.  Starry rosinweed is drought tolerant.  It is also a forage plant for deer. Leaf arrangement and characteristics change up-stem.  Lowest leaves are opposite and lanceolate with the leaf base tapering into wings on long petioles.  Higher up-stem, leaves are lanceolate, and become sessile and alternate with rounded bases.  Lower leaves may be 6 inches or more long and 1.5+ inches wide.  Upper and lower leaf surfaces are scabrous, the lower surface less so.  Leaf edges, often mostly entire, may occasionally have widely spaced small teeth. Flower heads, singly or in one or several compact panicles, typically consist of 10+ fertile ray florets and a central disk of 30+ staminate disk florets.  Bracts, forming an involucre of two or three layers, are acutely triangular, spreading, recurved, and overlapping (imbricate).  Peduncles and involucre are covered with numerous stiff, spreading hairs (hirsute).  Yellow ray petals, long and narrowly elliptical, are notched at the end.  Starry rosinweed flowers in late spring into summer.

Photo 1

Photo 1:  Starry rosinweed in an open woods setting.  Alternate leaves with branching for flowering.

Photo 2

Photo 2:  Involucre of starry rosinweed.  Note hirsute involucres.

Photo 3

Photo 3:  Starry rosinweed.  Note appearance of ray florets and disk florets.

Wholeleaf Rosinweed Wholeleaf rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium), aka entireleaf rosinweed or prairie rosinweed, occurs primarily from Alabama to Texas, north to South Dakota and the Great Lakes.  In Arkansas, it occurs more or less throughout the state.  Wholeleaf rosinweed is found in dry tall-grass prairies, mesic prairies and rocky or dry open woods and glades.  It is drought tolerant.  It is also a forage plant for deer.  Wholeleaf rosinweed reaches three to six feet in height and, with age, has many stout stems.  Younger stems appear fuzzy and are scabrous, but roughness may disappear with age.  Stems of plants in shade are green while those in sun are often purplish. Opposite, sessile leaves, up to 5 inches long and 2.5 inches wide, are broadly lance-shaped to ovate and are entire or slightly toothed.   Leaves, which are medium green, are scabrous on top, but less scabrous on lower surfaces.  Paired leaves are decussate (leaves rotated 90° from one pair to next).  Flowering, occurring in mid-summer, produces panicles with flower heads 2 to 3 inches across.  Twelve to 25 yellow ray florets surround numerous yellow disk florets.  Yellow rays, long and narrowly elliptical, are notched at the end.  Bracts, forming the imbricate involucre, are broad with very short hairs.

Photo 4

Photo 4:  Wholeleaf rosinweed with opposite, decussate leaves and purplish stems.

Photo 5

Photo 5:  Wholeleaf rosinweed with flowers in bud, in bloom, and past bloom.  In flower past bloom, note winged achenes partially visible around infertile disk.

Photo 6

Photo 6:  Wholeleaf rosinweed.  Note divided styles of ray florets and stamens and undivided styles extending from disk florets.

Footnote“Type species” is a species that exhibits characteristics that define a genus and serves as a reminder of what is meant by a particular genus.  Should a genus be divided, the type-species retains the original generic name.

Article and photographs by ANPS member Sid Vogelpohl

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Hummingbird Enjoying Obedient Plant

RT Hummingbird (female) on Obedient Plant

One of our favorite native plants is in full bloom now. Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) got its common name because you can bend the individual flowers in any direction you like–and they will stay there! The hummingbirds love them.

Obedient PlantPhotos by ANPS Member Mike Weatherford

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