University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


A decline in Northwest Arkansas's native plant population has occurred over the past 50 years, as documented by the U.S. Forest Service in the Ozark-Ouachita Highlands Assessment. This decline has been caused by increased human development in natural areas and the replacement of native plants with exotic, non-native plants. As a result, a generation has grown up not knowing what an Ozark wake Robin trillium (Trillium pusillum var. ozarkanum) or Blood root (Sanguinaria canadensis) Look like, because these plants are difficult to find in nature, are not commonly grown in designed landscapes, and are Largely unavailable in garden centers. The loss of Arkansas's native plants has led to a second problem: the loss of the region's landscape identity. A proposed solution focuses on restoring the region's landscape identity by landscaping with native plants. The benefits of native plants include the following: the creation of native habitats, an increase in biodiversity, the conservation of natural resources, a reduction in long-term landscape costs and a decrease in landscape maintenance requirements and costs. Interviews with regional suppliers and users of native plants identified sources of information and methods of growing these plants. As a result, guidelines on how to incorporate native plants into designed landscapes were developed and are presented with a listing of native plant experts and nurseries, a partial listing of plants for Northwest Arkansas (organized by site conditions), a suggested reading and reference list, and a listing of public gardens that emphasize native plants