Category Archives: Know Your Natives

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

Know Your Natives – Northern Maidenhair Fern

Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum) of the Brake Fern (Pteridaceae) family, formerly of the Polypody (Polypodiaceae) family, is a beautiful, shade-loving fern with broad, circular fronds. The genus name is from a Greek word for “unwetted” in reference to the … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Ozark Mock Orange

Ozark Mock Orange (Philadelphus pubescens) of the Hydrangea (Hydrangeaceae) family, formerly of the Saxifrage (Saxifragaceae) family, is a deciduous shrub with bold, showy, four-petaled white flowers. The genus name is said to honor Ptolemy II Philadelphus, pharaoh of Egypt, 283-246 … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Hairy Mock Orange

Hairy Mock Orange (Philadelphus hirsutus) of the Hydrangea (Hydrangeaceae) family, formerly of the Saxifrage (Saxifragaceae) family, is a deciduous shrub with rather large, showy, four-petaled white flowers. The genus name is said to honor Ptolemy II Philadelphus, pharaoh of Egypt … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Winged Sumac

Winged Sumac (Rhus copallinum*) of the Cashew (Anacardiaceae) family is a deciduous shrub or small tree that forms clonal colonies from lateral roots. Rhus is the old Greek and Latin name for sumac. The specific epithet, based on an Aztec … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Carolina Buckthorn

Carolina Buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana, formerly Rhamnus caroliniana) of the Buckthorn (Rhamnaceae) family is an elegant, thornless (!), deciduous shrub or small tree, with simple shining leaves and red to black berry-like fruits. (The tiny, whitish flowers are easily overlooked.) The … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Hairy Bush Clover

Hairy Bush Clover (Lespedeza hirta) of the Pea or Legume (Fabaceae) family is a perennial herb with stems to 3+ feet tall, bearing tightly clustered racemes of small creamy white flowers. The genus name is dedicated to Vicente Manuel de … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Fragrant Sumac

Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica var. aromatica) of the Sumac (Anacardiaceae) family is a dioecious, low-growing, non-suckering, non-poisonous shrub with tiny yellow flowers that emerge before the leaves. The genus name Rhus is the old Greek and Latin name for sumac. … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Slender Mountain Mint

Slender Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) of the Mint (Lamiaceae/Labiatae) family is a rhizomatous plant with narrow, linear leaves that give the plant an attractive, airy appearance. The genus name is based on Greek words for “dense” and “flower.” The specific … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Downy Ragged Goldenrod

Downy Ragged Goldenrod* (Solidago petiolaris**) of the Aster, Sunflower, or Composite (Asteraceae) family has stiff lanceolate leaves on unbranched stems that are topped by an unusually large array of golden-yellow flower heads. The genus name is based on the Latin … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Late Boneset

Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) of the Aster, Sunflower, or Composite (Asteraceae) family is a tall herbaceous perennial with small, clustered, whitish flowerheads that lack ray florets. The genus name recognizes Mithridates Eupator who invented a “universal antidote” against poisoning and … Continue reading

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