b'increase public awareness of thefall native grasses, such as Indian AHTD Wildflower Program. Thesegrass, and both big and little blue programs help reduce long-termstems, command the scenery with maintenance costs, enhance roadsidetheir pretty, blue-green color.wildlife habitat, provide an attractiveHighway 123 and Highway 74roadside environment and preserveconnect with Highway 7 forming a native plant populations. giant loop around the county. They Wildflower Routes are both wildflower routes.Throughout the State of Arkansas,While touring the wildflower routes in Newton County look for these particular species: Carolina larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum subsp. carolinianum) of the Buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family has irregular (bilaterally symmetrical) springtime flowers that are typically deep blue. The genus name is based on a Greek word for dolphin, in reference to the shape of flower buds (when viewed from approximately 1,000 miles ofthe side). The specific epithet is a Highways have been included inreference to one of the Carolinas, a system of Wildflower Routespresumably the site of the type col-to showcase existing wildflowerlection, i.e., the collected specimen populations.Maintenance practicesupon which the species is based. In along these routes allow annual andthe U.S., the species Carolina lark-perennial wildflowers to prosper andspur occurs from New Mexico to return year after year. North Dakota, east to Wisconsin, There are three Wildflower RoutesKentucky, and South Carolina, in Newton County alone. and south to the Gulf Coast. The The main route is Scenic Highwaytypic subspecies discussed here 7 from its borders with Pope Countyoccurs from northeastern Texas and in the south to Boone County to theLouisiana, north to Iowa and Illinois, north. "It is one of the better wild- and across the Southeastern states. flower routes we have," Ewing said.In Arkansas, it occurs throughout It features showy coreopsis, purplemuch of the state except for low lying cone flowers and milk weed. In theareas of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain and West Gulf Coastal Plain. www.OzarksMag.com Spring 2021 | Ozarks Magazine | 37'