The South Central United States or South Central states is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the Old Southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South, as can be seen in the now defunct Southwest Conference of the NCAA. The states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (which make up what the Census Bureau Division calls West South Central States) are almost always considered the "core" of the region. As part of the East South Central States sub-group of the Census Bureau classification, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky are also frequently listed under the heading. At the highest extent, Kansas, and Missouri, may be included by some sources. All or parts these states are in the Central Time Zone. At different and changing points in time, all of the above states were/are considered part of the West in American history.
The climate varies from the semi-tropical in the Mississippi Delta, South Louisiana, and Southeast Texas, to the dry Chihuahuan desert in West Texas. The southeastern portions include the Appalachian mountains in Alabama and Tennessee and the Piney Woods of East Texas, Louisiana, and southern Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. A large portion of the northeastern quarter of the region is mountainous, with the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The northwest quarter of the region is dominated by the Great Plains which become progressively drier west of 1,000° W, forming the North American Llano Estacado. The southwestern portions border the Rio Grande, and are generally drier than other areas of the South Central United States, Central Texas having the most annual precipitation.
Texas is the largest South Central state by both area and population. Texas is still home to over half the region's population. The largest city in the region, Houston, is located in Texas. New Orleans was tied with Oklahoma City in population but, after Hurricane Katrina, the population of the New Orleans metro area declined to approximately 1 million. By 2017, the population of New Orleans had bounced back to almost 1.3 million.
|State||2010 Pop.||Land Area||Density|
|Arkansas||2,915,918 (4th)||52,068 (3rd)||51.34 (3rd)|
|Louisiana||4,533,372 (2 nd)||43,562 (4th)||102.59 (1st)|
|Oklahoma||3,751,351 (3rd)||68,667 (2nd)||50.25 (4th)|
|Texas||25,145,561 (1st)||261,797 (1st)||79.65 (2nd)|
The history of the South Central states is dominated by the conflict and interaction between three cultural-linguistic groups: the Anglosphere (first Great Britain and then the United States), the Hispanidad (first Spain then Mexico), and the Francophonie (always France). In the 17th and 18th centuries Spain and France maneuvered for control of Texas, with the Spanish based in Mexico and New Mexico and the French in Louisiana. During the War of the Quadruple Alliance hostilities spread to the New World and the French troops from Natchitoches briefly captured the capital of Spanish Texas, Los Adaes in what is now western Louisiana. The French were not able to wrest control of Texas from Spain, and by the early 19th century sold their North American holdings to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, which comprised slightly less than half of what is today the South Central United States.
The official West and East South Central states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee were members of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Kentucky was often considered a "non-official" Confederate state. Oklahoma, although Indian Territory at the time, was home to 5 Native-American tribes, of which a majority allied themselves with the Confederacy. Thus, all these states are usually considered to make up a large part of the American South both historically and culturally, as well as classified by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Allium drummondii, also known as Drummond's onion, wild garlic and prairie onion, is a North American species of onion native to the southern Great Plains of North America. It is found in South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, and northeastern Mexico.Allium drummondii is a bulb-forming perennial. The flowers appear in April and May, in a variety of colors ranging from white to pink. It is common, considered invasive in some regions.Cercis canadensis
Cercis canadensis, the eastern redbud, is a large deciduous shrub or small tree, native to eastern North America from southern Ontario, south to northern Florida but which can thrive as far west as California. It is the state tree of Oklahoma.Cross Timbers
The term Cross Timbers, also known as Ecoregion 29, Central Oklahoma/Texas Plains, is used to describe a strip of land in the United States that runs from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas. Made up of a mix of prairie, savanna, and woodland, it forms part of the boundary between the more heavily forested eastern country and the almost treeless Great Plains, and also marks the western habitat limit of many mammals and insects.No major metropolitan areas lie wholly within the Cross Timbers, although roughly the western half of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex does, including the cities of Fort Worth, Denton, Arlington, and Weatherford. The western suburbs of the Tulsa metropolitan area and the northeastern suburbs of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area also lie within this area. The main highways that cross the region are I-35 and I-35W going north to south (although they tend to skirt the Cross Timbers' eastern fringe south of Fort Worth) and I-40 going east to west. Numerous U.S. Highways also cross the area.Douglas fir
Pseudotsuga menziesii is an evergreen conifer species in the pine family, Pinaceae. It is native to western North America and is known as Douglas fir, Douglas-fir, Oregon pine, and Columbian pine. There are two varieties: coast Douglas-fir (P. menziesii var. menziesii), and Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir (P. menziesii var. glauca).East South Central states
The East South Central states constitute one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States.
Four states make up the division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The division is one of three that together make up the larger Census Bureau Region known as the South (the other two of which are the South Atlantic states and the West South Central states).
The East South Central States form the core of Old Dixie, one of the nine moral regions identified by James Patterson and Peter Kim in their acclaimed 1991 geopolitical best-seller, The Day America Told The Truth.Iva (plant)
Iva is a genus of wind-pollinated plants in the daisy family, described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1753. Plants of this genus are known generally as marsh elders. The genus is native to North America.
Accepted speciesIva angustifolia - southeastern + south-central United States (Texas Oklahoma Louisiana Arkansas Kansas Florida)
Iva annua - United States, primarily south-central region; Tamaulipas
Iva asperifolia - south-central United States (Texas Oklahoma Louisiana Arkansas Kansas Indiana), Veracruz
Iva axillaris - western United States + Canada
Iva cheiranthifolia - Cuba
Iva ciliata - south-central United States
Iva corbinii B.L. Turner - Texas
Iva dealbata - United States (Texas New Mexico), Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí)
Iva frutescens - coastal areas from Texas to Nova Scotia
Iva hayesiana - California, Baja California
Iva imbricata - coastal areas from Texas to Virginia; Bahamas
Iva microcephala - southeastern United States (Alabama Florida Georgia North Carolina South Carolina)
Iva xanthiifolia (synonym Cyclachaena xanthiifolia) - widespread in United States + Canada, introduced elsewhereJuniperus ashei
Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper, post cedar, mountain cedar, or blueberry juniper) is a drought-tolerant evergreen tree, native to northeastern Mexico and the south-central United States north to southern Missouri; the largest areas are in central Texas, where extensive stands occur. It grows up to 10 m (33 ft) tall, rarely 15 m (49 ft), and provides erosion control and year-round shade for wildlife and livestock.
The feathery foliage grows in dense sprays, bright green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2 to 5 mm (0.079 to 0.197 in) long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. It is a dioecious species, with separate male and female plants. The seed cones are round, 3 to 5 mm (0.12 to 0.20 in) long, and soft, pulpy and berry-like, green at first, maturing purple about 8 months after pollination. They contain one or two seeds, which are dispersed when birds eat the cones and pass the seeds in their droppings. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, yellow, turning brown after pollen release in December to February.Longleaf pine
The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) is a pine native to the Southeastern United States, found along the coastal plain from East Texas to southern Maryland, extending into northern and central Florida. It reaches a height of 30–35 m (98–115 ft) and a diameter of 0.7 m (28 in). In the past, before extensive logging, they reportedly grew to 47 m (154 ft) with a diameter of 1.2 m (47 in). The tree is a cultural symbol of the Southern United States, being the official state tree of Alabama and the unofficial state tree of North Carolina.Mississippi embayment
The Mississippi Embayment is a physiographic feature in the south-central United States, part of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. It is essentially a northward continuation of the fluvial sediments of the Mississippi River Delta to its confluence with the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. The current sedimentary area was formed in the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic by the filling with sediment of a pre-existing basin. An explanation for the embayment's formation was put forward by Van Arsdale and Cox in 2007; movement of the earth's crust brought this region over a volcanic "hotspot" in the Earth's mantle causing an upthrust of magma which formed the Appalachian-Ouachita range. Subsequent erosion caused a deep trough that was flooded by the Gulf of Mexico and eventually filled with sediment from the Mississippi River.Nyctiphruretidae
Nyctiphruretidae is an extinct family of hallucicranian parareptiles known from the late Early to the late Middle Permian of European Russia and south-central United States.Nyctiphruretidae was named by Michael S. Y. Lee (1997) together with the order Nyctiphruretia to include the type species Nyctiphruretus acudens known from several Middle Permian locations in European Russia. While the family was defined to be monotypic, the order was defined to include both nyctiphruretids and nycteroleterids. However, recent cladistic analyses suggest that nycteroleterids are more closely related to the Pareiasauria instead, thus making Nyctiphruretus the only genus of its order. In 2014, MacDougall & Reisz described and named a second genus of Nyctiphruretidae, Abyssomedon, from the middle Leonardian stage of the late Early Permian of Comanche County, Oklahoma, south-central United States. It contains a single species, A. williamsi, which represents the first nyctiphruretid known from North America, and the oldest species of the family.Pecan
The pecan is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States in the region of the Mississippi River. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia, and in Mexico which produces nearly half of the world total. The seed is an edible nut used as a snack and in various recipes, such as praline candy and pecan pie. The pecan, in various aspects, is included in state symbols of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Oklahoma and Texas.Picea engelmannii
Picea engelmannii, with common names Engelmann spruce, white spruce, mountain spruce, or silver spruce, is a species of spruce native to western North America, from central British Columbia and southwest Alberta, southwest to northern California and southeast to Arizona and New Mexico; there are also two isolated populations in northern Mexico. It is mostly a high altitude mountain tree, growing at 900 metres (3,000 ft) – 3,650 metres (11,980 ft) altitude, rarely lower in the northwest of the range; in many areas it reaches the alpine tree line.Pinyon pine
The pinyon or piñon pine group grows in the southwestern United States, especially in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The trees yield edible nuts, which are a staple food of Native Americans, and widely eaten as a snack and as an ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. The name comes from the Spanish pino piñonero, a name used for both the American varieties and the stone pine common in Spain, which also produces edible nuts typical of Mediterranean cuisine. Harvesting techniques of the prehistoric American Indians are still used today to collect the pinyon seeds for personal use or for commercialization. The pinyon nut or seed is high in fats and calories.
Pinyon wood, especially when burned, has a distinctive fragrance, making it a common wood to burn in chimeneas. Pinyon pine trees are also known to influence the soil in which they grow by increasing concentrations of both macronutrients and micronutrients.Some of the species are known to hybridize, the most notable ones being P. quadrifolia with P. monophylla, and P. edulis with P. monophylla.
The two-needle piñon (Pinus edulis) is the official state tree of New Mexico.Populus tremuloides
Populus tremuloides is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America, one of several species referred to by the common name aspen. It is commonly called quaking aspen, trembling aspen, American aspen, Quakies, mountain or golden aspen, trembling poplar, white poplar, popple, as well as others. The trees have tall trunks, up to 25 meters (82 feet) tall, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. The glossy green leaves, dull beneath, become golden to yellow, rarely red, in autumn. The species often propagates through its roots to form large clonal groves originating from a shared root system. These roots are not rhizomes, as new growth develops from adventitious buds on the parent root system (the ortet).
Populus tremuloides is the most widely distributed tree in North America, being found from Canada to central Mexico. It is the defining species of the aspen parkland biome in the Prairie Provinces of Canada and extreme northwest Minnesota.
The Quaking Aspen is the state tree of Utah.Quercus nigra
Quercus nigra, the water oak, is an oak in the red oak group (Quercus sect. Lobatae), native to the southeastern and south-central United States, found in all the coastal states from New Jersey to Texas, and inland as far as Oklahoma, Kentucky, and southern Missouri. It occurs in lowlands and up to 450 m (1500 ft) altitude.Tilia americana
Tilia americana is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae, native to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Oklahoma, southeast to South Carolina, and west along the Niobrara River to Cherry County, Nebraska. Common names include American basswood and American linden. The tree was introduced to the UK in 1752, but has never prospered there, being prone to dieback.Ulmus alata
Ulmus alata, the winged elm or wahoo, is a small- to medium-sized deciduous tree endemic to the woodlands of the southeastern and south-central United States. The species is tolerant of a wide range of soils, and of ponding, but is the least shade-tolerant of the North American elms. Its growth rate is often very slow, the trunk increasing in diameter by less than 5 mm (3⁄16 in) per year. The tree is occasionally considered a nuisance as it readily invades old fields, forest clearings, and rangelands, proving particularly difficult to eradicate with herbicides.Vitis rotundifolia
Vitis rotundifolia, or muscadine, is a grapevine species native to the southeastern and south-central United States from Florida to Delaware, west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. It has been extensively cultivated since the 16th century. The plants are well adapted to their native warm and humid climate; they need fewer chilling hours than better known varieties and they thrive on summer heat.
Muscadine berries may be bronze or dark purple or black when ripe. However, many wild varieties stay green through maturity. Muscadines have skin sufficiently thick and tough that eating the raw fruit is similar to eating a plum and may be an acquired taste. Muscadines are typically used in making artisan wines, juice, and jelly. They are rich sources of polyphenols.In a natural setting, muscadines are important plants for improving wildlife habitat by providing cover, browse, and fruit for a wide variety of animals.West South Central states
The West South Central States form one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions of the United States that are officially designated by the United States Census Bureau.
Four states compose the division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and the state that dominates the region is Texas. It is larger in area than the three others combined. The division is one of the three that together make up the broader Census Bureau Region known as the South (the other two being the South Atlantic States and the East South Central States).The unofficial term South Central States refers to approximately the same area.
United States articles