Arkansas Wildflowers Color Springtime in The Natural State
Spring has been a long time coming this year, or so it seems with our sometimes-unpredictable climate. But the flowering trees are starting to show off their coats of many colors and the wildflower landscape is beginning to bloom. From brilliant meadows to flower-studded hills, you’ll love the colorful outdoor spaces found around Arkansas this time of year. They’re perfect for a photo op or closer inspection if you’re a gardening enthusiast — everyone can find something to appreciate here.
Spring in Arkansas bursts into a showy palette of color as the wide variety of Arkansas wildflowers native to The Natural State begin to bloom. The dogwoods, redbuds, and jonquils of March and April soon give way to a host of wildflowers, which provide a procession of blooms throughout the summer season. Jonquils and daffodils normally pop up their heads in mid-March while redbuds and dogwoods usually bloom early-to-mid April. Just like fall color, the peak is dependent on weather conditions.
Arkansas’s roadsides support numbers of wildflowers -- in fact, the Arkansas Department of Transportation has designated several scenic wildflower drives across the state that feature interesting varieties.
Since 1983, the Department of Transportation has been involved with beautification efforts that include Arkansas wildflower plantings, wildflower routes, reforestation, landscaping, native plant preservation, billboard permitting and junkyard screening. Inspired by the national program of the same name, Operation Wildflower, Arkansas’s program has brought together the efforts of gardens clubs, church groups, schools, civic organizations, and state and federal agencies.
Where to find wildflower landscapes
Almost 1,000 miles of Arkansas highways have been designated and wildflower routes and the Department of Transportation has also reduced mowing and limited the application of herbicides on the routes to encourage floral growth along these travel routes.
View a map of suggested Arkansas wildflower routes to see a map of suggested wildflower routes and photographs of some of the flowers found along these drives covering the landscape.
The U.S.D.A. Forest Service also has Arkansas wildflowers information on its website. Six areas -- both driving and hiking -- are highlighted.
Public Gardens in Arkansas
Blue Spring Heritage Center & Gardens, Eureka Springs
Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville
Compton Gardens, Bentonville
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville
Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs
Peel Mansion Museum & Heritage Gardens, Bentonville