Native Perennials at River Valley HP

*Disclaimer: There has been much debate about which plants are considered to be "true natives". To reduce any confusion, we have listed our natives as either Arkansas natives or nativars (a selection of a native plant bred/hybridized for ornamental purposes). If the plant is listed as native, the link on the common name will take you to the native variety. If the plant is listed as "Arkansas native/nativar", the link on the common name will have both the native variety and the nativars listed. Thoughout history, many native plants have been used for their ethnobotanical properties. River Valley Horticultural Products does not encourage the consumption of any of our products unless specifically labeled as "edible". Any information contained regarding historical consumption is for educational purposes only.

Common Name Botanical Name Plant Information Native/Nativar  
American Ginger Asarum canadense American ginger is known to have carcinogenic properties so consumption is not advised. Arkansas Native
Amsonia Amsonia hubrichtii Also known as Arkansas Blue Star Arkansas Native
Baptisia Baptisia australis Also known as Blue False Indigo. Arkansas Native
Blue Eyed Grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium "Lucerne" A grassy-like perennial that has beautiful blue flowers with a yellow eye from spring well into summer. Nativar
Butterflyweed or Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa One of our most popular natives that attracts butterflies. Host and major food source for monarch butterfly populations. Contains a toxic latex compound that repels herbivorous animals. This toxin is stored by the monarch butterly which makes them toxic to birds. Arkansas Native
Carolina Jasmine Gelsemium sempervirens Carolina jasmine is a fast growing evergreen vine that produces bright yellow flowers in spring and fall. Attracts butterflies, honeybees, moths, and birds. Arkansas Native
Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides This is a great native evergreen fern that thrives in a woodland habitat. Arkansas Native
Cimicifuga Cimicifuga 'Chocoholic' Beautiful bronze to purple serrated foliage with pink blooms that fade with in the summer. Attracts butterflies and is considered to be deer and rabbit resistant. Nativar
Columbine Aquilegia caerulea/ Aquilegia vulgaris Columbines, depending on the color, can attract hummingbirds, hawk moths, bumblebees, and many other insects. Nativar
Coreopsis Coreopsis grandiflora/ Coreopsis verticillata/ Coreopsis auriculata There are many species of "tickseed". This plant is loved by beekeepers because its a great source of nectar for honeybees. Indian tribes used the boiled seeds to relieve pain. Nativars
Crossvine Bignonia capreolata 'Tangerine Beauty' Crossvine is a great source of nectar for hummingbirds. Nativar
Echinaceae/Coneflower Echinaceae purpurea Coneflowers are a really popular choice for attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and songbirds.  Arkansas Native
Foxglove Beardtongue Penstemon digitalis This plant is a great source of nectar for bees. Beardtongue fills a critical role by providing pollen and nectar at the end of Spring when resources are dwindling.  Nativars
Goats Beard Aruncus dioicus This plant is a great source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and moths. It is also a host plant for the dusky azure butterfly. Arkansas Native
Goldenrod Solidago rugosa  Goldenrod is considered an indespensable source of pollen and nectar in the fall for bees, butterflies, beetles, wasps, and other insects. Nativar
Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens Its flowers are utilized by long tongued insects such as the hawk moth. Bees also enjoy visiting this plant when foraging. Nativars
Horsetail Reed Equisetum hyemale Horsetail reed has been long used for its medicinal properties. It has been used in cosmetics and shampoos.Be careful planting this plant outside of a container because it has a tendency to spread rapidly. Arkansas Native
Inland Sea Oats Chasmanthium latifolium Pearly eye butterfly catterpillars and moths feed on this plant. These oats are also a source of food for birds.  Arkansas Native
Blue Flag Iris Iris versicolor These flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. Native Americans used the rhizomes for making poltices for sores, swellings, and pain. Arkansas Native
Jacobs Ladder Polemonium reptans Great plant for attracting bees and butterflies. Native Americans would use this plant to cure colds, coughs, fevers, and lung ailments. Nativar
Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium maculatum Joe pye weed attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. Used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments, including fever. Nativar
Lead Plant Amorpha canascens Great plant for attracting bees and butterflies.  Arkansas Native
Little Bluestem Grass Schizachyrium scoparium A drought tolerant native grass that will compliment your pollinator garden. Arkansas Native
Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica/ Lobelia X Lobelias are a hummingbird magnet and a great source of nectar for long tongued bees. Many other insects and pollinators enjoy feeding on the nectar from lobelias too. Nativars
Maidenhair Fern Adiatum pedatum A beautiful native fern that thrives in Arkansas. These are great for woodland areas with lots of moisture and shade. Arkansas Native
Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa A favorite for hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Also known as bee balm, the nectar attracts a number of specialist bees, bumblebees, and hawk moths. Arkansas Native
Obedient Plant Physostetia virginiana Attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The nectar will also attract bumblebees and sphinx moths. Nativars
Phlox Phlox subulata This is a great groundcover for attracting butterflies. Nativars
Pink Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia capillaris Attracts birds and beneficial insects such as ladybugs. Arkansas Native
Poppy Stylophorum diphyllum Also known as "wood poppy", its one of the first flowers in the spring and is beneficial for solitary bees. Arkansas Native
Prairie Dropseed Sporobolus heterolepis Seeds are very nutritious for birds and its arching "leaves" provide great cover. This foliage is eaten by leonards skipper butterfly larvae. Arkansas Native
Primrose Oenothera berlandieri Bumblebees, hawk moths, and hummingbirds enjoy vising these flowers.  Arkansas Native
Rudbeckia Rudbeckia fulgida/ Rudbeckia hirta/ Rudbeckia subtomentosa/ Rudbeckia laciniata Attracts long and short tongued bees including honeybees, butterflies, predatory wasps, skippers, flies, and beetles. This is a host plant for Silvery Checkerspot butterfly caterpillars. Nativars
Solomon's Seal Polygonatum biflorum The nectar and pollen attracts various bees, including bumblebees. The flowers attract the ruby-throated hummingbird. Arkansas Native
Southern Wood Fern Dryopteris ludoviciana Fast-growing southern wood ferns are host plants for caterpillars of the Ghostly Fern Moth and the Marsh Fern Moth. Arkansas Native
St. Johns Wort Hypericum perforatum St johns wort is pollinated by bees, bumblebees, and flies. Native Americans and many other cultures have been known to use this plant for medicinal purposes.  Nativar
Sweet Autumn Clematis Clematis paniculata This climing vine is a prolific grower and its fragrant flowers are a butterfly magnet. Arkansas Native/Nativars
Trumpet Vine Campsis radicans Also known as "hummingbird vine". The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Arkansas Native
Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica Butterflies love this perennial and sometimes bumblebees can be seen visiting the flowers. Skippers, butterflies, sphinx moths, and the giant bee fly all contribute to the pollination of the flowers. Great early spring source of nectar for pollinators. Arkansas Native
Yarrow Achillea millefolium Butterflies and bees are some of the many insects attracted to yarrow. American Indians used this plant to treat burns and sores. The Chinese considered yarrow plants to be good luck. Nativars