A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention. The plants present at the time Europeans arrived in North America are considered native to Arkansas.
Our botanists have put together a list of plants native to large portions of Arkansas that should do well on sites with the appropriate amount of sun and moisture. To learn more about using native plants, download our Native Plants for Arkansas Gardens guide.
Though published nearly 10 years ago, the Atlas remains the most complete accounting of the county-level distribution of the state's native and non-native vascular plants. Published by the University of Arkansas Herbarium in 2013 as a 709-page softcover
book, the Atlas is now available as a searchable PDF file. Click below for a free download of the full-size version (22.3 MB), best for printing or viewing on a desktop or laptop computer or the reduced file-size version (12.4 MB), more suitable for
viewing on a smartphone or tablet.
Arkansas’s native plants are uniquely adapted to live with our soils, climate, and wildlife.
The blog post "Some Native Gardening Basics I Learned the Hard Way" by ANHC Chief of Research, Theo Witsell, provides additional guidance on gardening with native plants.
Digging up native plants causes several problems:
A herbarium, like a library, is a collection of preserved plants that are stored, cataloged, and arranged systematically for study. The ANHC maintains one of eight herbaria in the state recognized by the Index Herbariorum (IH), the official database of worldwide herbaria. The herbarium at the ANHC has been recognized by the IH since 2003 and it currently contains more than 15,000 specimens. The oldest specimen in the herbarium, Slender Rose-gentian (Sabatia campanulata), was collected in 1941 by Delzie Demaree.
Activities and information about how a schoolyard garden can be used across the curriculum and benefit all students.