what is the Flora of Arkansas?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Arkansas has at least 2,600 native plants, and there are many naturalized exotic species. Cypresses, water oak, hickory, and ash grow in the Mississippi Valley, while the St. Francis Valley is home to the rare cork tree. Crowley's Ridge is thick with tulip trees and beeches.

    A forest belt of oak, hickory, and pine stretches across south-central and southwestern Arkansas, including the Ozark and Ouachita mountains. The Mexican juniper is common along the White River's banks.

    The state has at least 26 native varieties of orchid; the passion flower is so abundant that it was once considered for designation as the state flower, but the apple blossom was finally chosen instead.

    Arkansas is host to 191 families, 924 genera, and 2,704 species of plants. Of those species, 621, or around 21 percent, have been introduced from other states or countries. Some are introduced by people who plant seeds bought elsewhere, by bird droppings or by gardeners planting new hybrids.

    The Japanese honeysuckle is such a plant. Aggressive and invasive, it has become the most widespread, common plant in the Southeastern United States.

    The beef-steak plant from Asia has invaded two-thirds of Arkansas counties. The leaves can be eaten, while the seeds produce oil used for cooking and medicine. However, the mature plants are extremely toxic to cattle, and if they get into baled hay, become a real threat to farmers. For years, many were baffled by their dying cattle until they found out about the toxicity of the beef-steak plant.

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