Native Plants

Native Plant List for Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas

This is a "starter" list of native plants for Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscapes.

Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas Trees

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height     Comments
Florida Maple Acer barbatum P W-A 20-25' Not as much fall clr as sug maple; seeds eaten by birds
Red Maple Acer rubrum P-S W-D 60-100' One of 1st trees to show fall color; small red dense flwrs
Chalk Maple Acer saccharum P A-D 25-30' Brilliant yellow-orange to crimson in fall; pest free
Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia F-S W-A 10-15' Salmon/red flwrs in spring; attracts hummers and bees
River Birch Betula nigra F-P W-A 30-90' Multistemmed desired; seeds attract birds
Blue Beech Carpinus carolianiana S W-A 35-50' Good street tree; scarlet fall color
Hackberry Celtis laevigata F-P W-A 60-80' Orange to blue-black, fruit attracts birds; yellow in fall
Redbud Cercis canadensis P-S A-D 15-30' Rosy-pink flowers in spring; drought-tolerant; yellow in fall
Fringe Tree Chionanthus virginicus F-P W-A 15-25' Creamy white fragrant flowers in May; dark blue fruit in fall
Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida P A 20-50' 4" white bracts in April; fruit attracts birds; red fall color
Beech Fagus grandifolia P A 50-80+' Hard to grow plants under; nuts attract birds/ squirrels
White Ash Fraxinus americana F-P A 75-120' Purple in fall; larval plant for butterflies; seeds for birds
Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica F A 50-75' Adaptable tree; transplants well; green to purple flowers
Two-winged Silverbell Halesia diptera F-P A 20-30' White to pink, bell-shaped flowers in spring
Carolina Silverbell Halesia tetraptera F-P A 20-60' Similar culture to dogwood; white, bell-shaped flowers
Witch Hazel Hamamelis virginiana P A 15-35' Creamy to bright yellow flowers in fall; golden fall color
Possum Haw Ilex decidua P W-D 15-30' White flwrs in spring; orange berries into winter (female)
American Holly Ilex opaca F-S A 25-60' Red berries into winter; must have both sexes for berries
Black Walnut Juglans nigra F A 50-70' Green, rounded fruit; edible nuts with rough black shell
Sweet Gum Liquidambar styraciflua F-P A 60-75' Seeds eaten by birds; spiny fruit litters lawns
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera F-P A 40-100' Cup-shaped, fragrant flowers in spring; attracts birds
Cucumber Tree Magnolia acuminata F-P A 60-75' Small, knobby fruit resembles a cucumber; attracts birds
Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora F-P A 50+' Should be planted where lowest branches reach ground
Sweetbay Magnolia virginiana P W 12-20+' 2-3" white flwrs all summer; fruit attracts birds
Black Gum Nyssa sylvatica F-P W-D 30-60' Yellow, orange, red-purple fall color; honey plant for bees
Ironwood Ostrya virginiana P-S A 30-50' Fruiting clusters; shreddy bark; common understory tree
Red Bay Persea borbonia P A 20-65' Blue fruit in fall; larval plant for swallowtails; birds like fruit
Shortleaf Pine Pinus echinata F-P D 50-100' Dark, blue-green needles; seeds eaten by birds
Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda F-P A 60+' 6-10" dark green leaves; most rapid growth of all pines
Sycamore Platanus occidentalis F-P W-A 75-100' Round seeds; white, mottled bark; leaves drop all sum
White Oak Quercus alba F A-D 80-100' Avoid planting near paved areas; red to wine fall color
Laurel Oak Quercus laurifolia F-P W-A 40-60' Transplants well; shiny leaves; acorns
Willow Oak Quercus phellos F-P A 60+' Yellow fall color; not as messy as some oaks
Carolina Buckthorn Rhamnus caroliniana P-S A 12-15' Yellowish fall color; fruit changes from red to black
Sassafras Sassafras albidum F W-D 35-50' Yellow, orange, pink, scarlet fall color; attracts birds
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum F-P W-A 50-75' Cypress knees produced in or near water; orange fall color

Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas Shrubs

Common Name Scientific Name Sun Moisture Height     Comments
Downy Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea F-S A-D 15-30" Magenta fruit attracts birds; lrgst fruit of any serviceberry
False Indigo Amorpha fruticosa F A-D 6-10" Deep purple flowers with gold stamens attract butterflies
Sea Myrtle Baccharis halimifolia F W 6-12" Female plant covered with shiny white "clouds" in fall
Americ. Beautyberry Callicarpa americana P-S W-A to 6" Small white to pink flowers in sumr; purple berries in fall
Chinquapin Castanea pumila P A-D to 30" Spiked flowers; fall color; good food plant for wildlife
New Jersey Tea Ceanothus americanus F-P A-D 2-3" Long-lasting flowers; attracts birds, butterflies, hummers
Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis S-P W-A 10-15" Creamy white flowers in sumr; nutlets through winter
Burning Bush Euonymus atropurpureus P-S W-A 20-25" Purple flowers in June; persistent red seeds
Wild Hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens P-S W-A 3-6" White lace cap flowers; attracts bees
Shrub. St. Johns Wort Hypericum prolificum S W-D 3" Yellow flowers; attracts birds; no appreciable fall color
Winterberry Ilex verticillata P-S W-A 3-10" Bright red berries on female plants into wint; attracts birds
Yaupon Ilex vomitoria F-S W-D 12-25" White flowers; red berries; good screen plant; attracts birds
Sweetspire Itea virginica P W-A 6-8" Red fall foliage; attracts butterflies; seeds eaten by birds
Spicebush Lindera benzoin P A 3-12" All parts edible and aromatic; glossy red fruit
Maleberry Lyonia lingustrina F-P W-A 6-12" White flowers in spring; fall color; honey plant
Sweet Azalea Rhododendron canescens Red foliage; pink/white flwrs; attracts birds and butterflies
Swamp Azalea Rhododendron viscosum Fall color; fragrant, white flwrs in sumr; forms a thicket
Shining Sumac Rhus copallina Male + female plants; maroon fall foliage; attracts birds
Smooth Sumac Rhus glabra Brilliant fall color; good in dry arrangement; not poisonous
Carolina Rose Rosa carolina Single, pink flowers in sumr; red hips in fall attract birds
Dwarf Palmetto Sabal minor Subterranean trunk; black fruits on flowering stalks
Elderberry Sambucus canadensis Creamy, white flowers; edible fruit; yellow fall foliage
Silky camellia Stewartia malacodendron Waxy white flowers; cinnamon colored bark; slow grower
American Silverbells Styrax americana Fragrant white flowers mid-spring; rounded form
Sparkleberry Vaccinium arboreum Tree-like shrub; white flowers; dark berries in fall
Black Haw Viburnum prunifolium Showy fall color; creamy white flowers; blue-black fruit

Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas Flowering Perennials

Common Name Scientific Name     Comments
Sweet Flag Acorus calamus Grass-like appearance; grows in wet areas
False Aloe Agave virginica Inch-long flowers in a loose spike
Blue Star Amsonia tabernaemont. Light blue flowers; black seeds can be used for propagation
Carolina Anemone Anemone caroliniana Spring bloomer; blossom resembles sunflower
Lazy Daisy Aphanosteph. skirrhobasis Attracts butterflies; xeriscapic
Jack-in-the-Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum Red and yellow flowers; perfect for shady gardens
Wild Ginger Asarum canadensis Good shade ground cover; slug pollinated
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata All parts are poisonous
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa Adult nectar and larval food source for Monarch butterflies
Frost Aster Aster pilosus One of the toughest asters; attracts butterflies
White False Indigo Baptisia alba Drought-tolerant; parts are poisonous if ingested
Poppy Mallow Callirhoe papaver Grows well over walls and in rock gardens
Wild Hyacinth Camassia scilloides Blue, star-shaped flowers in an elongated, loose cluster
American Bellflower Campanula americana Star-shaped light violet-blue flowers
Tall Coreopsis Coreopsis tripteris Anise-like fragrance
Shooting Star Dodecatheon meadia Lilac, pink or white petals; stamens form a beak-like cone
Clasping Leaf Conefl. Dracopis amplexicaulis Attracts birds, small mammals, and butterflies
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Tolerates dry, droughty soil and hot sun; good cut flowers
Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yuccifolium Greenish-white flowers in globular, 1' diameter heads
Mist Flower Eupatorium coelestinum Eight weeks of blue flowers; spreads by rhizomes
Joe-Pye Weed Eupatorium fistulosum Rounded, pink flower clusters mid-summer to early fall
Closed Gentian Gentiana saponaria Light-blue to lilac flowers; soapy sap
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum 1' purple flowers; slender capsules resemble a crane's bill
Narrow-leaf Sunfl. Helianthus simulans Attracts birds and butterflies
Ox-eye Sunflower Heliopsis helianthoides Resembles sunflower on a shorter plant
Alumroot Heuchera americana Root has astringent qualities
Spider Lily Hymenocallis occidentalis 3-4' flowers with crown of tissue connecting bases of anthers
Standing Cypress Ipomopsis rubra Red, tubular flowers; leaves with bristle-tipped segments
Marsh Blazing Star Liatris spicata Unusual in flowering from top to bottom of spike
Blazing Star Liatris squarrosa 1' delicate flowers on branched stems
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis Cardinal red flowers in late summer
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica Elongated cluster of pale to dark blue flowers on stalk
Partridge Berry Mitchella repens White to pinkish flowers; red double berries; rich soil
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa Fragrant; dried leaves make herbal tea
Sundrops Oenothera fruticosa Red stems compliment yellow flowers
Carolina Phlox Phlox carolina Earlier flowering, with thicker leaves than common phlox
Blue Phlox Phlox divartica Semi-evergreen foliage
Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana Flowers can be twisted in any direction and stay there
May Apple Podophyllum peltatum Solitary flower at fork of 2 leaf stalks; small edible fruit
Solomon's Seal Polygonatum biflorum Beautiful, arching stem with perfectly oriented leaves
Meadow Beauty Rhexia virginica Bright, purple-pink flowers open in a.m., drop petals
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida A popular, tough and beautiful perennial
Cut-leaf Coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata 6-10 droopy yellow petals around green center
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis Bright orange-red sap in thick rootstock
Golden Ragwort Senecio aureus Cluster of daisy-like yellow flower heads
Fire Pink Silene virginica 1' brilliant red star-shaped flowers
Wreath Goldenrod Solidago caesia Clusters of yellow flowers from axils of leaves
Sweet Goldenrod Solidago odora Has an anise-like odor when crushed
Rough-leaved Golden. Solidago rugosa Radiating flower form looks like fireworks
Indian Pink Spigelia marilandica Clusters of 2 to 12 vivid red tubular flowers
Rose Vervain Verbena canadensis Very attractive to butterflies; clumps of purple flowers
Culver's Root Veronicastrum virginicum Spire-like white flower stalks above deep green leaves
Common Blue Violet Viola papilionacea This is the violet often found growing wild by roads/in fields
Birdsfoot Violet Viola pedata Five petals, lavender to purple, occasionally white

Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas Flowering Perennial Ferns

Common Name Scientific Name     Comments
Southern Maidenhair Adiantum capillus-veneris Bright green fronds; spreads by rhizomes
Ebony Spleenwort Asplenium platyneuron Sterile fronds are arching to flat; fertile fronds are upright
Sensistive Fern Onoclea sensibilis Easy to grow; turns yellow or russet in fall
Cinnamon Fern Osmunda cinnamomea Circular cluster of fronds; cinnamon-colored fertile fronds
Royal Fern Osmunda regalis Easy to grow; fronds are pale pink in early spring
Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides Easy to grow; tufted clump of stiff, deep green fronds
Virginia Chain Fern Woodwardia virginica Lustrous, dark green, leathery fronds in a close mass

Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas Vines

Common Name Scientific Name     Comments
Cross Vine Bignonia capreolata Twining tendrils bear orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers
Leatherflower Clematis crispa Blue, pink, lavender or white; dies to ground each year
Virgin's Bower Clematis virginiana White flowers in late summer to early fall
Yellow Jessamine Gelsemium sempervirens Foliage bronzes in winter; all parts of plant are toxic
Coral Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens Trumpet-shaped flowers mid-spring to fall attract hummers
Virginia Creeper Parthenociss. quinquefolia Excellent red fall color; attracts birds
Passionflower Passiflora incarnata Lavender flowers; edible fruit; attracts butterflies

Arkansas, Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas Grasses & Grass-like

Common Name Scientific Name     Comments
Big Bluestem Andropogon gerardi Long-lived; slow to establish; self-seeds; orange in fall
Splitbeard Bluestem Andropogon ternarius Great cut flowers
Broom Sedge Andropogon virginicus A pioneer soil-stabilizing plant
Awl-fruited Sedge Carex stipata R elatively large green-to-black, spike-like inflorescence
Inland Sea Oats Chasmanthium latifolium Golden in fall; reseeds in moist gardens
Purple Lovegrass Eragrostis spectabilis Inflorescence in late summer appears as red-purple clouds
Soft Rush Juncus effusus Provides food and nesting to birds and other wildlife
Rice Cut Grass Leersia oryzoides Creeping perennial with flat, yellow-green leaves
Gulf Muhly Muhlenbergia capillaris Dark green, glossy leaves; dark purple inflorescence
Switchgrass Panicum virgatum Dark gold fall color; inflorescence holds into winter
Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium Self-seeds; variable form and color
Woolgrass Scirpus cyperinus Long, shaggy brown inflorescence
Indian Grass Sorghastrum nutans Warm season grass; attractive most of winter; self-seeds
Eastern Gamagrass Tripsacum dactyloides Easy to grow; evergreen in frost-free areas
Cattail Typha latifolia Long green leaves; hotdog-shaped brown flower

Sun Exposure Soil Moisture Drought Tolerance
F = Full Sun W = Wet E = Excellent
P = Part Sun A = Average G = Good
S = Shade D = Dry M = Moderate
P = Poor

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