Category Archives: Know Your Natives

A series of articles profiling the many native plants found in Arkansas

Know Your Natives – Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke* (Helianthus tuberosus) of the Aster (Asteraceae) family is a large, tuber-producing perennial that was an important food source for Native Americans and early settlers. The genus name combines two Greek words for “sun” and “flower”. The specific epithet … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – American Holly

American holly (Ilex opaca var. opaca*) of the Holly (Aquifoliaceae) family is a broad-leaf evergreen tree frequently used for Christmas decorations. In the U.S., it occurs from Texas to Illinois east to Massachusetts and thence south and east to the … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Rusty Blackhaw

Rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum) of the Arrow-wood (Adoxaceae) family, formerly of the Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae) family, is a small deciduous tree or large shrub (referred to as “tree” herein) with a year-round attractive appearance. It occurs in the U.S. from Texas … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Drummond’s Aster

Drummond’s aster (Symphyotrichum drummondii) of the Aster (Asteraceae) family is a herbaceous perennial with disk flowers that change color with age. Preferred habitats are partially sunny upland sites in open deciduous woodlands and woodland borders along streams and roads. This … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Blue Sage

Blue sage (Salvia azurea var. grandiflora) of the Mint (Lamiaceae) family is a long lived herbaceous perennial with sky-blue flowers. Variety grandiflora occurs throughout a large portion of the central U.S. stretching from Utah to Ohio, and from South Dakota … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Palafoxia

Palafoxia (Palafoxia callosa) of the Asteraceae (Aster or Composite) family is a drought tolerant annual herb. The genus name recognizes José de Palafox y Melzi (1776–1847), a Spanish officer in the war against Napeoleon. The specific epithet is derived from … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Yellow Leafcup

Yellow leafcup (Smallanthus uvedalius), formerly Polymnia uvedalia, of the Aster (Asteraceae) family is a tall herbaceous perennial with very large petiolate leaves. The genus name honors John Kunkel Small, American botanist and author of Manual of the Southeastern Flora, 1933–still … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – White Leafcup

White leafcup (Polymnia canadensis) of the Aster (Asteraceae) Family is a coarse,  short-lived perennial. The genus name is in reference to the Greek Muse Polymnia (also spelled Polyhymnia), goddess of music, song and dance. The specific epithet refers to the … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – White Four-O’Clock

White four-o’clock (Mirabilis albida) of the Four-O’Clock (Nyctaginaceae) Family is an herbaceous perennial that blooms from evening into the next morning. The genus name is from a Latin word meaning “wonderful”. The specific epithet is from Latin for “whitish”*. Another … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Butterfly Pea

Butterfly Pea (Clitoria mariana) of the Pea/Bean (Fabaceae) family, the only species of the genus occurring in Arkansas, has large pea-shaped flowers. In the U.S., it occurs from New Mexico to Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota, east to New York and … Continue reading

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