Category Archives: Native Plants

Native Arkansas Plant Photos and Descriptions

Know Your Natives – Hairy Skullcap

Hairy skullcap (Scutellaria elliptica) of the Mint (Lamiaceae) family is one of nine skullcap species known to occur in Arkansas. The genus name is from the Latin scutella, a dish, in reference to the distinctive shape of the lower portion … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Ernest’s Spidewort

Ernest’s spiderwort (Tradescantia ernestiana) of the Commelinaceae (Spiderwort) family is an early-blooming, low-growing species, one of the 12 spiderworts that occur in Arkansas. The genus name honors John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I of England, while the specific epithet honors … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Carolina Larkspur

Carolina larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum subsp. carolinianum) of the Buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family has irregular (bilaterally symmetrical) springtime flowers that are typically deep blue. The genus name is based on a Greek word for “dolphin”, in reference to the shape of flower … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Red Buckeye

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia var. pavia*) of the recently expanded Soapberry (Sapindaceae) family–it now includes the maples from the former Aceraceae as well as the buckeyes and horse-chestnuts previously classified in the Hippocastanaceae–has large, showy red inflorescences in early spring. … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Celandine Poppy

Celandine poppy or wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) of the Poppy (Papaveraceae) family is a herbaceous perennial that bears bright yellow flowers in early spring. The genus name is from the Greek for “style” and “bearing” in reference to the flower’s … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Woodland Phlox

Woodland phlox, blue phlox or wild sweet William (Phlox divaricata ssp. laphamii) of the Phlox (Polemoniaceae) family is the first phlox to bloom in the spring in Arkansas. The genus name is Greek for “flame,” in reference to many species … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Woolly Lip Fern

Woolly lip fern (Cheilanthes tomentosa*) of the Brake Fern (Pteridaceae) family, is an evergreen fern that becomes brown and shriveled during drought but revives with renewed moisture. The genus name combines Greek words for “lip” (cheilos) and “flower” (anthos), in … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Sparkleberry

Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) of the Heath (Ericaceae) family is a blueberry that adds persistent color to the fall-foliage palette. The genus name is ancient, but of no clear meaning–possibly from the Latin vaccinus, “of cows”. The specific epithet is from … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Arrowhead

Arrowhead (Sagittaria platyphylla) of the Water Plantain (Alismataceae) family is an aquatic perennial of shores and marshes. It is one of eight Sagittaria species found in Arkansas that have “arrowhead” as their common name (see below). The genus name is … Continue reading

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Know Your Natives – Wreath Goldenrod

Wreath goldenrod (Solidago caesia) of the Aster or Sunflower (Asteraceae) family is one of the smaller goldenrods that occur in Arkansas. In the U.S., it is found from Texas to Wisconsin and thence east to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. … Continue reading

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