Southern Plant Identification

Overview

The South is home to various plants that are iconic. They are often evergreen, since the seasons down South do not get as cold as in Northern states, though they are sometimes deciduous. Many parts of the South, such as Texas, are dry because of the heat, requiring plants that do not lose a lot of water through transpiration. Other plants must survive conditions with heavy rainfall and high humidity.

Trees

The crepe myrtle is a small tree with a very thin trunk. When these trees flower, they produce bright pink flowers. They come in different varieties such as the Japanese crepe myrtle, which has outward-arching branches, light green leaves that are 4 inches long and 2 inches wide and smooth gray flaking bark. The regular crepe myrtle has dark green leaves. The flowers produced in the summer are pink and crinkly. Magnolias are common Southern trees that come in evergreen and deciduous varieties. Evergreen trees have leaves that remain on the tree throughout the year, while deciduous trees have leaves that fall off of the tree during the winter. The evergreen trees have white blossoms. They have roots that can crack and lift the pavement. The deciduous magnolia trees have flowers that are saucer-shaped. Some varieties of this magnolia develop larger leaves than other varieties.

Shrubs

Rhododendrons and azaleas are Southern shrubs that produce very large numbers of big pink flowers. These shrubs are very dense and are good at blocking views into the backyard, though there are sometimes gaps where neighbors can peak through.

Flowers

The camellia is one common Southern plant that produces white flowers that have a little yellow in them and are pinnate-shaped. The petals on the outside of the flower are larger, but the petals get progressively smaller towards the center of the flower. There are also some bulb plants popular to the south, such as daffodils. Daffodils are bulbs commonly found in the South. They have large and flat leaves that look like straps. The flowers come in a variety of shapes, with some daffodils shaped like trumpets, some shaped like cups and some shaped like double cups that are merged together.

Bushes

Blueberry bushes are commonly grown berries that are an important crop throughout the United States. They are unusual plants that can be grown in soil that is too acidic for most other plants. They have dark-green or blue-green leaves and produce flowers that are small, white and pinkish. The flowers have shapes that look like urns.

Poisonous Plants

Some Southern plants need to be identified because they are poisonous. The poisonous oleander grows up to 20 feet tall, has dark, leathery leaves and has white or orange flowers. The sago palm is another poisonous plant that has an erect trunk and has dark olive-green leaves. These plants have very rough, jagged-looking trunks.

Keywords: small southern trees, blueberry bush, shrubs of south, magnolia trees

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.