Books and pamphlets are listed alphabetically by author.
Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L. 2011. The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide. 1st Edition. Ohio University Press. ISBN 97808 214 19373.
While not written for Arkansas, Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz provide a comprehensive selection of native alternatives to non-native flowers and plants for the Midwestern gardener. Plant entries are accompanied by full color photographs or drawings, and notes detailing the specific birds and butterflies the native plants will attract. Paperback. 282 pages.
Boyd, John. Weeds of Arkansas, MP169 (clicking this link opens a free, downloadable PDF document). University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Printing Services.
A good resource for identifying the common natives around your home.
Clark, G. Thomas. 1981. Winter Twigs of Arkansas: A Field Guide to Deciduous Woody Plants. Rose Publishing Co. ISBN 0-914546-35-X.
Moderately technical, some knowledge of technical terms needed but still useful for the serious beginner who wants to identify trees in winter.
Denison, Edgar. 1989. Missouri Wildflowers: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Missouri and Adjacent Areas. 4th edition. Missouri Department of Conservation. No ISBN. Library of Congress number 90-621804.
Again not specific to Arkansas, but many Arkansas species are shown. This is an older book and the photography is poor by today’s standards.
Folley, Patricia. 2011. The Guide to Oklahoma Wildflowers. Iowa University Press. ISBN 9781609380465.
We share many of the 200 species of wildflowers that are described with Oklahoma.
Gentry, Johnnie L., Johnson, George P., Baker, Brent T., Witsell, C. Theo, and Ogle, Jennifer D. 2013. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas (clicking this link opens a free, downloadable PDF document). University of Arkansas Printing Services. ISBN 978-0-615-67980-8.
The most comprehensive accounting of the wild plants of Arkansas ever published, the atlas provides county-level distribution maps of each of the state’s nearly 2,900 native and naturalized vascular plants. The introduction also details Arkansas’ history of botanical exploration, geology and physiographic regions. Each map includes a plant’s status, whether the plant is introduced, endemic, non-native invasive or of special conservation concern in Arkansas.
Horn, Dennis and Cathcart, Tavia. 2005. Wildflowers Of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians. Lone Pine Publishing. ISBN 9781551054285.
The focus is on Tennessee, but the Ohio Valley and Southern Appalachians are covered, encompassing all or parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. 800 color photographs, 96 line drawings, 3 full-color state and region maps.
Hunter, Carl G. 1984. Wildflowers of Arkansas. 4th Edition. The Ozark Society Foundation. ISBN 0-912456-17-5.
Highly recommended for beginner or experienced native plant enthusiast. The best wildflower book we’ve ever seen, many superb photographs, well organized.
Hunter, Carl G. 2000. Trees, Shrubs, & Vines of Arkansas. The Ozark Society Foundation. ISBN 0-912456-11-6.
The companion book to Wildflowers of Arkansas, equally outstanding. Multiple photographs of many species, to show both leaves and fruits. Also highly recommended, for both beginners and experts.
Hunter, Carl G. 2000. Autumn Leaves & Winter Berries in Arkansas. The Ozark Society Foundation. ISBN 0-912456-20-5.
A smaller booklet, but with the usual excellent photography and high quality. As many of the photographs of berries and fruits are also shown in Trees, Shrubs, & Vines of Arkansas, it is listed mostly for completeness.
Kurz, Don. 2010. Arkansas Wildflowers. Tim Ernst Publishing. ISBN 9781882906710.
A guidebook with color photos & descriptions of more than 400 flowers in “The Natural State” and organized by color.
Kurz, Don. 2012. Ozark Wildflowers. 2nd Edition. Globe Pequot Press, a Falcon Guide, ISBN 978-0-7627-7014-4.
Highly recommended for beginner or experienced native plant enthusiast. Organized by color. Don Kurz has added 10 new treatments, updated some photos, and added new names to some species.
Kurz, Don. 1997. Shrubs and Woody Vines of Missouri. 2nd Edition. Missouri Department of Conservation. ISBN-10: 1887247440, ISBN-13: 978-1887247443.
Another book not intended for Arkansas but worthwhile because so many species are found in both Missouri and Arkansas. Author Don Kurz and artist Paul Nelson detail 125 native shrubs, 32 native woody vines, 18 exotic shrubs and 6 exotic woody vines.
Kurz, Don. 2003. Trees of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation. ISBN-10: 1887247386, ISBN-13: 978-1887247382.
Another book not intended for Arkansas but worthwhile because so many species are found in both Missouri and Arkansas. Its 400 pages cover 204 species and include descriptions of each tree’s habitat, range, and physical characteristics.
Moore, Dwight M. 2014. Trees of Arkansas. 8th Edition, edited by Eric Sundell. Arkansas Forestry Commission. No ISBN. Library of Congress number 74-622532.
Moderately technical, but useful for serious beginners as well as more experienced enthusiasts. Dwight Moore, in addition to his own publications and books, taught several of the other authors in this list and is one of the giants of Arkansas botany.
Niering, William A. and Olmstead, Nancy C. 2001. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers – Eastern Region. Chanticleer Press (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.). ISBN 0-394-50432-1.
Not specific to Arkansas, but many Arkansas species are shown and described. The photography is not as good as the Hunter books but it is a good general reference.
Painter, Tammie. 2019. Going Native – Small Steps to a Healthy Garden. 2nd Edition. ISBN 978-1505496239.
This is the latest release from Portland-based author Tammie Painter, a.k.a. The Sassy Garden Girl. Going Native encourages the use of native plants to build an organic garden that protects native wildlife, conserves resources and keeps chemicals out of the ecosystem. Although written with gardeners from the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada in mind, gardeners everywhere can use Going Native’s tips and information to create a healthy, low maintenance garden.
Ogle, Jennifer, Witsell, Theo, and Gentry, Johnnie. 2020. Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas. The Ozark Society Foundation. ISBN 978-0-912456-00-3.
This attractive, heavily illustrated field guide is the most comprehensive accounting of the woody plants of Arkansas ever published. Features of the guide include species accounts for nearly all the trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the state, including common and scientific names, descriptions, habitats, and distributions, as well as notes on current and potential species of conservation concern, introduced and invasive species, wildlife and human uses, history, and ecology; more than 1,500 color photographs highlighting important characters for identification; county-level distribution maps; detailed sections on ecoregions and habitats of Arkansas as they relate to the woody flora; visual key to aid in quickly identifying a plant to genus; dichotomous keys for the 32 largest genera including the oaks, hickories, and hawthorns; full glossary of technical terms featuring botanical drawings; and a complete index of scientific and common names.
Slaughter, Carl R. 1993. Wild Orchids of Arkansas. Self published. ISBN 0-9638497-0-0.
Features the 40-odd orchids found in Arkansas. The photographs are full-page and superb. This is a book to keep at home and enjoy – one would never want to risk damaging it by using it in the field.
Smith, Edwin B. 1988. An Atlas and Annotated List of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas. 2nd Edition. Self published. No ISBN. Might try college bookstores.
Also somewhat technical, useful mostly for anyone who wants to know in which counties of the state a plant has been spotted.
Smith, Edwin B. 1994. Keys to the Flora of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 1-55728-312-5.
This comprehensive guide includes taxonomic keys to the families, genera, species, and infraspecific taxa of all the known vascular plants of Arkansas. Indispensable for the serious enthusiast or botanist who wishes to key out Arkansas plants, but very technical and not recommended for beginners.
Taylor, W. Carl. 1984. Arkansas Ferns and Fern Allies. Milwaukee Public Museum. ISBN 0-89326-097-5.
More technical, as is required for the ferns and related plants. Line drawings, but no photographs. This book is unfortunately out of print but used copies may be available.
Tekiela, Stan. 2006. Trees of Missouri Field Guide. Adventure Publications.
A field guide not intended for Arkansas but worthwhile because so many species are found in both Missouri and Arkansas.
Yatskievych, G. 1999. Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri Volume 1. Published by Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. ISBN 9781887247191.
Yatskievych, G. 2006. Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri Volume 2. Published by Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. ISBN 9781930723498.
Yatskievych, G. 2013. Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri Volume 3. Published by Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. ISBN 9780915279135.
Not intended for Arkansas but worthwhile because so many species are found in both Missouri and Arkansas. Rather technical, and more expensive too – probably not for the beginner.
Zimmerman, Catherine. 2013. Urban and Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces. Matrix Media Press. ISBN-10: 0984456007, ISBN-13: 978-0984456000.
The book provides instructions for site preparation, meadow design and maintenance of your meadow. There are also sections that include plant lists by region and plant zone, resource contact information, and much more. Once your meadow is established, it will require only a minimal amount of mowing and you will not need to water, rake or apply pesticides or fertilizer. See book review by ANPS members Nancy and Mike Weatherford.