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Coastal: Atlantic Coast

In the eastern United States ’Cape’ American beachgrass is widely used to stabilize dunes that proteThe Atlantic Coast of the United States comprises the coastal states of Delaware, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, and Puerto Rico. The lands adjacent to the Atlantic coastline are made up of sandy beaches, marshlands, bays, and barrier islands. Soils range from mineral sands to heavy organic mucks.

The area contains a vast diversity of plant life adapted to freshwater, brackish, and saline marshes and mangrove swamps, as well as terrestrial species that grow on upland sites associated with coastal dunes and barrier islands.  Conservation Plant Releases developed by the Plant Materials Program selected for use in this area have been proven to be adapted over specific zones around the Eastern Atlantic Region. Plant Fact Sheets and Plant Guides will assist you with proper plant selection, establishment, and management.

PLANTS Database Resources

Plants for Atlantic Coastal Protection & Restoration

The following documents require Acrobat Reader

Clicking on the scientific name will take you to detailed information in the PLANTS database. Asterisk (*) indicates those plants tolerant to some level of hydrocarbon pollution.

Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes

Scientific Name Common Name Adaptation National Wetland
Indicator Status
Useful Documents
Ammophila breviligulata American beachgrass Dune UPL, FACU- American Beachgrass Plant Guide (PDF; 171 KB)

'Cape' American Beachgrass Conservation Plant Release (PDF; 140 KB)

Beachgrass Planting Guide for Volunteers and Municipalities (PDF; 687 KB)
Distichlis spicata * saltgrass, seashore saltgrass, Inland saltgrass, spike grass, alkali grass Saline, Brackish, and Tidal Freshwater Marshes FACW+ Distichlis spicata -Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 258 KB)
Cladium jamaicense sawgrass Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes OBL  
Eleocharis cellulosa gulf coast spikerush Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes OBL Gulf Coast Spikerush Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 217 KB)
Juncus effusus soft rush, common rush Tidal Freshwater Marsh FACW+, OBL Sumter Germplasm Soft Rush (PDF; 397 KB)
Juncus roemerianus * black needlerush Saline and Brackish Marshes OBL Black Needlerush Plant Guide (PDF; 60 KB)
Muhlenbergia capillaris hairawn muhly Dune FACU Purple Haze Germplasm Hairawn Muhly Release Brochure (PDF; 303K)
Muhlenbergia filipes gulfhairawn muhly Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes FACU Gulfhairawn Muhly Plant Guide (PDF; 90 KB)
Panicum amarum Var. amarulum coastal panicgrass Dune FACU-, FAC

Release Brochure for Atlantic Coastal Panicgrass (PDF; 348 KB)

Panicum amarum bitter panicum Dune FACU-, FAC Bitter Panicum Plant Guide (PDF; 86 KB)
Panicum hemitomon * maidencane Tidal Freshwater Marsh OBL Release Brochure for 'Halifax' maidencane (PDF; 659 KB)
Paspalum vaginatum seashore paspalum Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes OBL, FACW Release Brochure Brazoria Seashore Paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) (PDF; 410 KB)
Panicum virgatum switchgrass Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes UPL, FACW

Release Brochure for Timber Germplasm Switchgrass (PDF; 285 KB)

Release Brochure for 'Carthage' Switchgrass (PDF; 200 KB)

Release Brochure for High Tide Switchgrass (PDF; 145 KB)

Schizachyrium maritimum gulf bluestem Dune FAC+ Gulf Bluestem Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 93 KB)
Schizachyrium littorale coastal little bluestem, seacoast bluestem Dune  

Release Brochure for Dune Crest Coastal Little Bluestem (PDF; 205 KB)

Schoenoplectus californicus California bulrush Tidal Freshwater Marsh OBL

California Bullrush Plant Guide (PDF; 69 KB)

Schoenoplectus robustus saltmarsh bulrush Saline and Brackish Marshes OBL Saltmarsh Bulrush Plant Guide (PDF; 175 KB)
Spartina alterniflora * smooth cordgrass Saline and Brackish Marshes OBL Smooth Cordgrass Plant Guide (PDF; 198 KB)
Spartina patens * marshay cordgrass,  saltmeadow cordgrass Saline and Brackish Marshes FACW

Bare-root Avalon Saltmeadow Cordgrass Planting Guide (PDF; 63 KB)

'Avalon' Saltmeadow cordgrass Conservation Plant Release (PDF; 126 KB)

Release Brochure-Flageo Marshhay Cordgrass (PDF; 332 KB)

Spartina spartinae gulf cordgrass Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes OBL, FACW Gulf Cordgrass Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 80 KB)
Sporobolus virginicus  seashore dropseed Saline Marsh FACW+ Seashore Dropseed Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 80 KB)
Uniola paniculata seaoats Dune FACU Seaoats Plant Guide (PDF; 72 KB)



Forbs & Wildflowers

Scientific Name Common Name Adaptation National Wetland Indicator Status Useful Documents
Borrichia frutescens sea oxeye daisy Saline and Brackish Marsh OBL, FACW  
Canavalia rosea beach bean Dune FAC-  
Chamaecrista fasciculata partridge pea Dune FACU, FACU-  
Helianthus debilis beach sunflower Dune FACU, FAC

Flora Sun beach sunflower (Helianthis debilis subsp. debilis) Release Brochure  (PDF; 137 KB)

Hudsonia tomentosa beach heather Dune   Beach Heather Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 136kb)
Ipomoea imperati beach morningglory Dune FACU, FAC  
Ipomoea pescaprae railroad vine Dune FAC  
Sesuvium portulacastrum sea purslane Saline Marsh and Dune FACW  
Solidago sempervirens seaside goldenrod Saline, Brackish, and Saline Marshes and Dune FACW, FACW-

Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) Plant Guide (PDF; 244 KB)

Release Brochure for Monarch Seaside Goldenrod (PDF; 237 KB)


Trees & Shrubs


Scientific Name Common Name Adaptation National Wetland Indicator Status Useful Documents
Argusia gnaphalodes sea lavender, sea rosemary Dune FACU  
Avicennia germinans black mangrove Saline Marsh and Mangrove Swamp OBL

Black Mangrove Plant Guide (PDF; 140 KB)

Planting Guidelines for Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans) (PDF; 687 KB)

Baccharis halimifolia eastern baccharis Saline and Brackish Marsh, and Tidal Freshwater Marshes FAC, FACW-  
Celtis laevigata sugarberry, texas sugarberry, hackberry Saline Marsh, Dune FACW, UPL

Sugarberry Fact Sheet (PDF; 366 KB

Chrysobalanus icaco cocoplum Dune FACW  
Coccoloba uvifera seagrape Dune FAC  
Conocarpus erectus buttonwood Mangrove Swamp FACW+  
Ilex cassine dahoon holly Dune FACW  
Iva frutescens marsh elder, Jesuit's bark Saline and Brackish FACW, FACW+ Marsh Elder, Jesuit's Bark Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 188 KB)
Iva imbricata seashore elder Dune FACW, FACW-  
Laguncularia racemosa white mangrove Mangrove Swamp FACW+  
Lycium caroliniamum salt matrimony vine,  Carolina wolf berry, Christmas berry, and Carolina Desert
Saline Marsh, Dune FACW

Salt Matrimony Vine for Coastal Wetlands Planting Brochure (PDF; 432 KB)

Magnolia grandiflora southern magnolia Tidal Swamp FAC+, FAC-  
Morella cerifera wax myrtle Tidal Freshwater Marsh, Tidal Swamps, and Dunes FAC+, FAC Plant Fact Sheet: Dwarf Wax Myrtle (PDF; 283 KB)
Morella pensylvanica bayberry Dune FAC

Release Brochure for Wildwood Bayberry (PDF; 152 KB)

Morus rubra red mulberry Saline marsh, Dune FAC, FACU


Nyssa biflora blackgum, swamp tupelo Tidal Freshwater Marsh, Tidal Swamps, and Dunes OBL  
Persea palustris swamp bay Tidal Swamp    
Prunus maritima beach plum Dune   Release Brochure for Ocean View Beach Plum (PDF; 357 KB)
Rhizophora mangle red mangrove Mangrove Swamp OBL  
Sabal palmetto cabbage palm Brackish Marsh, Mangrove Swamp, Tidal Swamp, and Dune FAC Cabbage Palmetto Plant Guide (PDF; 100 KB)
Suriana maritima bay cedar Dune FACW+  
Taxodium distichum bald cypress Tidal Swamp OBL Bald Cypress Plant Guide (PDF; 71 KB)



Technical Documents

Vendors & Growers

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