Ozark Society Foundation publishes illustrated field guide to state’s woody plants


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas,” a new publication by the Ozark Society Foundation (OSF), offers the most comprehensive guide to woody plants across the state.

The book has 536 pages, including more than 1,500 color photographs, illustrations, and maps.

“Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas” also provides a reference volume for schools, libraries, and individuals interested in the preservation of wilderness and unique natural areas throughout Arkansas.

“Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas” finally gives us the most comprehensive and relevant volume on this topic yet and we’re so fortunate to bring some of the leading authorities on these topics together for this authoritative book,” said Marvin Schwartz, Chair of the Ozark Society Foundation. “It reflects a remarkable partnership of numerous state agencies, universities and nonprofit organizations that made this work possible.”

The book includes descriptions of 471 woody plants as well as up-to-date information on species names, ranges and habitats.

The book will include updated county-level distribution maps, 16 plates of botanical illustrations, and cultural and historical information about the plants and habitats of the state. Notes on the plants include lesser-known aspects, such as:

  • Pawpaw is pollinated by flies and beetles drawn to the flowers, which resemble decaying flesh in both color and fragrance. Commercial pawpaw growers sometimes hang dead animals among the trees to draw in more potential pollinators.
  • Yaupon Holly is the only known North American plant that contains caffeine and was a major ingredient in “Black Drink,” a beverage used by many southeastern Native American tribes.
  • Japanese Honeysuckle is one of the most widespread and troublesome invasive species in the state.
  • American Wisteria was noted by naturalist Thomas NuttallI, who wrote in 1819 that Arkansas boatmen on the lower White River used this species as a substitute for rope.
  • Witch-Hazel capsules open suddenly with enough force to eject seeds as far as 30 feet.
  • Tree-of-Heaven (also called Stink-Tree) leaves, when damaged, release a malodorous scent not unlike rotten peanut butter.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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