Category Archives: Native Plants

Native Arkansas Plant Photos and Descriptions

Know Your Natives – Yellow Meadow-Parsnip

Yellow meadow-parsnip or smooth meadow-parsnip (Thaspium trifoliatum var. aureum) of the Carrot (Apiaceae) family has small yellow flowers with in-turned petals, much like those of the golden-Alexanders (Zizia aptera and Zizia aurea) (see last paragraph). The genus name, coined by … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Bird’s-Foot Violet

Bird’s-foot violet (Viola pedata) of the Violet (Violaceae) family, the paragon of the violets, has distinctive leaves and large, exquisite flowers in several colors. The genus name is the classical Latin name for violets. The specific epithet, the Latin for … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Two-Wing Silverbell

Two-wing silverbell (Halesia diptera) of the Storax (Styracaceae) family is one of several understory trees in the family with pendant showy white flowers. The genus name recognizes English botanist Stephen Hales who authored Vegetable Staticks* in 1727. The specific epithet … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Ditch Stonecrop

Ditch stonecrop (Penthorum sedoides) of the ditch stonecrop (Penthoraceae) family is a short-lived, herbaceous perennial of wetlands. The genus name originates from the Greek words for “five” and “marker” in reference to the pentamerous (five-part) floral structure. The specific epithet … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Southern Prairie Aster

Southern prairie aster (Eurybia hemispherica) of the Aster or Sunflower (Asteraceae) family is a slender stemmed plant with spectacular, inch-wide, lavender composite flowerheads. The genus name is based on Greek words for “wide” and “few,” a reference to big-leaf aster … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Tall Thistle

Tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum) of the Aster, Sunflower or Composite (Asteraceae) family is a tall biennial thistle with weak spines and pink to lavender flower heads. The genus name derives from a Greek root for “swollen vein” in reference to … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Toothed Spurge

Toothed spurge (Euphorbia dentata) of the Spurge (Euphorbiaceae) family is a drought-tolerant summer annual with milky sap and a complex, bizarre inflorescence called a cyathium. The genus name recognizes Euphorbus, a Greek physician.* The specific epithet is from the Latin … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Water-willow

Water-willow (Justicia americana) of the Acanthus (Acanthaceae) family is an herbaceous aquatic perennial with willow-like leaves. The genus name recognizes James Justice, an 18th-century Scottish author of horticultural books. The specific epithet denotes the plant’s area of primary occurrence. In … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Hairy Woodland Sunflower

Hairy woodland sunflower (Helianthus hirsutus), of the Sunflower, Aster, or Composite (Asteraceae) family, is one of three Arkansas species with the common name “woodland sunflower.” The genus name is based on Greek words for “sun” and “flower.” The specific epithet … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Pawpaw

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) of the Custard Apple (Annonaceae) family is a small deciduous understory tree with edible fruit. It is widespread in the deciduous forests of the eastern U.S., from eastern Texas and southeastern Nebraska, east across southern Michigan to … Continue reading

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