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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)

American Beachgrass Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 42 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+ Seashore Saltgrass Plant Guide (PDF; 89 KB)

Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 252K)
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 Common Rush Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 55 KB)
Juncus roemerianus * black needlerush Saline and Brackish Marshes OBL Black Needlerush Plant Guide (PDF; 60 KB)

Black Needlerush Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 51 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

Coastal Panic Grass Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 66 KB)

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

 

Panicum amarum bitter panicum Dune FACU-, FAC Bitter Panicum Plant Guide (PDF; 86 KB)

Bitter Panicum Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 205 KB)


 
Panicum hemitomon * maidencane Tidal Freshwater Marsh OBL Maidencane Plant Guide (PDF; 83 KB)

Maidencane Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 81 KB)

 
Paspalum vaginatum seashore paspalum Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes OBL, FACW Seashore Paspalum Plant Guide (PDF; 168 KB)

Seashore Paspalum Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 138 KB)
Panicum virgatum switchgrass Brackish and Tidal Freshwater Marshes UPL, FACW

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

Switchgrass Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 67 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  

Coastal Bluestem Fact Sheet (PDF; 280 KB

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)

California Bullrush Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 73 KB)

Planting Guidelines for California bulrush (Schoenopletus californicus) (PDF; 2.2 MB)

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

Saltmeadow Cordgrass Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 250 KB)

Planting Guide for 'Avalon' Saltmeadow Cordgrass Planting Guide (PDF; 63 KB)

Planting Guidelines for Saltmeadow Cordgrass (Spartina patens) (PDF; 2.5 MB)

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

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

 

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)
 

 

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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- Partridge Pea Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 241 KB)

 
Helianthus debilis beach sunflower Dune FACU, FAC Beach Sunflower Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 273 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 Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 112K)

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

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

 

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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)

Black Mangrove Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 78kb)

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

Baccharis halimifolia eastern baccharis Saline and Brackish Marsh, and Tidal Freshwater Marshes FAC, FACW- Eastern Baccharis Plant Guide (PDF; 157 KB)

Eastern Baccharis Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 267 KB)
Celtis laevigata sugarberry, texas sugarberry, hackberry Saline Marsh, Dune FACW, UPL

Sugarberry Plant Guide (PDF; 148 KB)

Sugarberry for Coastal Wetlands Planting Brochure (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
Thorn
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 Wax Myrtle Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 45 KB)
Morella pensylvanica bayberry Dune FAC

Bayberry Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 86 KB)


Release Brochure for Wildwood Bayberry (PDF; 152 KB)

Morus rubra red mulberry Saline marsh, Dune FAC, FACU

Red Mulberry Plant Guide (PDF; 141 KB)

Red Mulberry for Coastal Wetlands Planting Brochure (PDF; 380 KB)

Nyssa biflora blackgum, swamp tupelo Tidal Freshwater Marsh, Tidal Swamps, and Dunes OBL Swamp Tupelo Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 52 KB)
Persea palustris swamp bay Tidal Swamp    
Prunus maritima beach plum Dune  

Beach Plum Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 144 KB)

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)

Bald Cypress Plant Fact Sheet (PDF; 75 KB)

 

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Technical Documents

Vendors & Growers