Category Archives: Know Your Natives

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

Know Your Natives – Arkansas Beardtongue

Arkansas Beardtongue (Penstemon arkansanus) of the Plantain (Plantaginaceae) family, formerly of the Figwort (Scrophulariaceae) family, has showy white tubular flowers with a fifth stamen that is sterile, typically bearded (pubescent), and tonguelike in form, a hallmark of this large genus. … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Long-Flower Cornsalad

Long-Flower Cornsalad (Valerianella longiflora) of the Cornsalad (Valerianaceae) family is an intruigingly branched, herbaceous annual with white flowers with long purple floral tubes. The genus name is the diminutive of Valeriana, the type genus of the Valerianaceae, a name honoring … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Prairie Ragwort

Prairie Ragwort (Packera plattensis, formerly Senecio plattensis) of the Aster, Sunflower, or Composite (Asteraceae) family is an herbaceous perennial with felty, white stem hairs and attractive, yellow, radiate flower heads. The genus name honors Canadian John G. Packer, author of … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Early Buttercup

Early Buttercup (Ranunculus fascicularis) of the Buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family is a late winter, herbaceous perennial, with glossy yellow flowers and tuberous, thickened roots. The genus name is from the Latin for “little frog,” based on the occurrence of many buttercups … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Rue-Anemone

Rue-Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides; formerly Anemonella thalictroides) of the Buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family is a small, perennial, woodland ephemeral with an umbellate inflorescence of white to pink flowers. The genus name is the Latin form of the Greek word thaliktron, used in … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Black Nightshade

Black Nightshade (Solanum ptychanthum) of the Nightshade Family (Solanaceae) is a common weedy native with small white flowers and black berries. The genus name, meaning “quieting,” is the classical Latin name for the nightshades, in reference to the narcotic properties … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Carolina Horse Nettle

Carolina Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense) of the Nightshade (Solanaceae) family is a toxic* perennial with attractive flowers and fruit and piercing prickles. The genus name is Latin for “quieting” in reference to the narcotic properties of some species. The specific … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Lady Fern

Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina*) of the Woodsiaceae (Lady Fern) family is a medium size fern of North America, Europe and Asia. The genus name originates from a Greek word referring to “door” in reference to the hinged indusia (protective spore … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Canada Rockcress

Canada rockcress (Borodinia canadensis*) of the Mustard (Brassicaceae/Cruciferae) family has small white flowers and long pendent bean-like fruits. The genus name most likely commemorates the Russian botanist Ivan Parfenievich Borodin (1847-1930) who founded the Russian Botanical Society. The specific epithet … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Spring-Beauty

Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica), traditionally treated as a member of the Purslane (Portulacaceae) family but more recently as a member of the Miner’s-lettuce (Montiaceae) family, is a widespread, common, native wildflower, a perennial herb with lovely white, pink-veined flowers. The genus … Continue reading

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