Category Archives: Know Your Natives

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

Know Your Natives – Sensitive Brier

Sensitive brier (or briar) (Mimosa quadrivalvis var. nuttallii*) of the Bean (Fabaceae) family is a sprawling perennial legume that is covered with prickles. The genus name is from a Greek word for “mime” or “mimic,” in reference to leaves in some … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Foxglove Beardtongue

Foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) of the Plantain (Plantaginaceae) family, formerly of the Figwort (Scrophulariaceae) family, is the largest of five white-flowered beardtongues in Arkansas. It is found throughout much of the eastern U.S. The genus name is from Greek words … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Death Camas

Death Camas (Toxicoscordion nuttallii) of the Bunchflower (Melanthiaceae) family* is a white-flowered, poisonous spring ephemeral. The genus name is from Greek for “poisonous garlic”. The specific epithet honors Englishman Thomas Nuttall who, beginning early in the 19th century, published books … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Wild Comfrey

Wild comfrey (Cynoglossum virginianum) of the Borage (Boraginaceae) family is a short perennial with large leaves and pale blue flowers. In the US, it occurs from Texas to Illinois to New York to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. In Arkansas, … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Eastern Bluestar

Eastern bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) of the Dogbane (Apocynaceae) family is an herbaceous, long-living perennial with blue flowers. The genus name honors 18th-century Virginian physician Dr. Charles Amson. The specific epithet honors Jacob Tabernaemontanus, a 16th-century German physician and botanist and … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Violet Wood Sorrel

Violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea) of the Wood Sorrel (Oxalidaceae) family is a small bulb-plant that bears shamrock-style leaves. The genus name is based on a Greek word for “acid”, in reference to the plant’s pleasantly sour taste. The specific … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Wild Ginger

Wild ginger (Asarum canadense*) of the Dutchman’s-pipe (Aristolochiaceae) family is a low-growing woodland spring ephemeral. It occurs throughout the eastern U.S. from Louisiana and Oklahoma to North Dakota thence eastward to the Atlantic Coast, except Florida. In Arkansas, it occurs … Continue reading

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Arkansas Native Plant Month 2018

April is Arkansas Native Plant Month! To celebrate, we have teamed up with our partners at the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Audubon Arkansas, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Hobbs State Park, Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, and … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Green Trillium

Green trillium (Trillium viridescens), of the Trillium (Trilliaceae) family is a spring ephemeral. It has a limited distribution in the U.S., occurring along eastern borders of Texas and Oklahoma, in southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri, and throughout western Arkansas. In … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Downy Serviceberry

Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) of the Rose (Rosaceae) family is a small tree or large shrub that produces showy white flowers very early in spring. The genus name likely originates from a common name of the type species of the … Continue reading

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