Many plants we regularly see are not native or do not live here without some help from humans. In some cases, the non-native or invasive plants are actually out-competing and reducing the native plant populations.
As part of ANHC's work to protect and track rare plants, our botanists maintain a herbarium collection of dried plants mounted, labeled, and systematically arranged for use in scientific study. They have also worked to edit the new publication the "Atlas of Vascular Plants of Arkansas " which documents nearly 3,000 native Arkansas plants. When time permits, our botanists are available for programs and plants walks at certain natural areas.
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.
Arkansas’s native plants are uniquely adapted to live with our soils, climate, and wildlife. Some benefits include:
Our botanist has 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. The order of the list follows the new Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas (see resources below). You can download the complete list as a PDF by clicking on the link below:
Digging up native plants causes several problems: 1) it reduces the natural population and consequently reduces the diversity within that population; 2) nature is likely to "fill the vacuum " you create when you dig up plants with different species, often invasive ones; 3) wild collected plants usually do not perform as well in a garden as those propagated in a nursery or grown from seeds or cuttings.
Activities and information about how a schoolyard garden can be used across the curriculum and benefit all the students.