Common Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Coast: A Field Guide

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From eelgrass rooted in wrack lines on windswept back shores to hardy maritime forests sculpted by strong winds and salt spray, the Mid-Atlantic coast is rich with a variety of habitats and an abundance of common, if not always familiar, plants. In Common Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Coast, Gene M. Silberhorn provides a field guide to the plants found along the coast from Long Island Sound to North Carolina's barrier islands. This introduction to the fragile ecology and remarkable beauty of the flora of the coastal...
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The Johns Hopkins University Press, 03/23/1999, Hardcover, Very Good condition. Revised edition.

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Overview

From eelgrass rooted in wrack lines on windswept back shores to hardy maritime forests sculpted by strong winds and salt spray, the Mid-Atlantic coast is rich with a variety of habitats and an abundance of common, if not always familiar, plants. In Common Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Coast, Gene M. Silberhorn provides a field guide to the plants found along the coast from Long Island Sound to North Carolina's barrier islands. This introduction to the fragile ecology and remarkable beauty of the flora of the coastal region was highly praised by reviewers when it was first published in 1982.

This revised edition retains the features that earned it acclaim and provides a wealth of new information. The three sections of the book correspond to the natural divisions of the landscape: Part One covers beaches, dunes, and marine forests; Part Two includes salt and brackish marshes; and Part Three reviews plants found in tidal and nontidal freshwater wetlands. Each section of Common Plants begins with an introduction that describes the characteristics of the area and the flora to be found there. Individual plant entries follow. Delicate illustrations accompany facing-page descriptions that aid in identification and provide concise background information, as well as delightful anecdotes.

Plant entries now include the subheadings: "Growth Habit and Diagnostic Characteristics, " where the reader will find descriptions of general appearance, "Distribution" which tells where along the coast the plant is found, "Habitat, " and, particularly important in this age of heightened environmental awareness, "Ecological Value/ Benefits."The author has also added each plant's "Wetland Indicator Status, " which estimates a species' frequency of occurrence in wetland habitats. Seventeen species have been added to this fully updated second edition. The appendixes now include websites for various federal and state, coastal parks, refuges, and natural areas. An easy-to-use key helps readers identify plants in the field according to physical features.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Silberhorn (marine science, the College of William and Mary) updates this keyed field guide from its first incarnation in 1982. Organized into three parts, it covers plants of the beach, dunes, and maritime forest; salt and brackish marshes; and tidal and nontidal freshwater wetlands. An introduction discusses the habitats and plant communities, followed by individual descriptions of each plant, including diagnostic characteristics, distribution, ecological relationships, and other features. B&w illustrations accompany each plant description. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Chesapeake Bay Magazine

Will quickly become a standard work for professionals and casual beach strollers alike.

Philadelphia Inquirer

In a guide of pleasant surprises, perhaps the greatest discovery is that so much wildness and beauty—things that are more and more associated with wilderness and remoteness—can still be found so near at hand, nearly in the back pocket of most of the large cities of the mid-Atlantic... [Silberhorn] has arranged his guide much like the coastal landscape itself, moving naturally from beaches to dunes and marine forests, then to salt and brackish marshes, and finally to the plants of the freshwater wetlands.

American Horticulturist

A superb guidebook for amateur naturalists, students in a variety of ecology-oriented courses, and gardeners who wish to assess new species.

Baltimore Sun

Illustrates superbly with black-and-white drawings the many species of plants in this coastal region.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801860805
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/1999
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.23 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene M. Silberhorn is a professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, School of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction 3
A Key to Common Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Coast 13
Part 1 Plants of the Beach, Dunes, and Maritime Forest 21
American beach grass Ammophila breviligulata Fern 29
Sea oats Uniola paniculata L. 31
Seaside goldenrod Solidago sempervirens L. 33
Dusty miller Artemisia stelleriana Besser 35
Short dune grass Panicum amarum Ell 37
Sea rocket Cakile edentula (Bigelow) Hooker 39
Seaside spurge Euphorbia polygonifolia L. 41
Russian thistle Salsola kali L. 43
Cocklebur Xanthium strumarium L. 45
Sand bur Cenchrus tribuloides L. 47
Switch grass Panicum virgatum L. 49
Dune bean Strophyostyles helvola (L). Ell 51
Prickly pear cactus Opuntia compressa (Salisb.) Macbr 53
Pinweed Lechea maritima Leggett 55
Beach sandwort Arenaria lanuginosa (Michaux) Rohrback 57
Beach heather Hudsonia tomentosa Nuttall 59
Three-awn grass Aristida tuberculosa Nuttall 61
Mexican tea Chenopodium ambrosiodes L. 63
Yucca Yucca filamentosa L. 65
Croton Croton punctatus Jacquin 67
Beach pea Lathyrus maritimus (L.) Bigel 69
Dwarf palmetto Sabal minor (Jacquin) Persoon 71
Seaside primrose Oenothera humifusa Nuttall 73
Beach plum Prunus maritima Marsh 75
Yaupon Ilex vomitoria Aiton 77
Pitch pine Pinus rigida Mill 79
Loblolly pine Pinus taeda L. 81
American holly Ilex opaca Aiton 83
Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica Loisel 85
Wax myrtle Myrica cerifera L. 87
Sassafras Sassafras albidum (Nuttall) Nees 89
Red bay Persea borbonia (L.) Sprengel 91
Wild black cherry Prunus serotina Ehrhart 93
Live oak Quercus virginiana Miller 95
Red cedar Juniperus virginiana L. 97
Part 2 Plants of Salt and Brackish Marshes 99
Saltmarsh cordgrass Spartina alterniflora Loisel 105
Salt grass Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene 107
Saltmeadow hay Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl 109
Black needlerush Juncus roemerianus Scheele 111
Black grass Juncus gerardi Loisel 113
Orach Artiplex patula L. var. hastata (L.) Gray; Seabeach orach A. arenaria Nuttal 115
Saltwort, glasswort Salicornia virginica L., S. europaea L., S. bigelovii Torrey 117
Marsh fimbristylis Fimbristylis castanea (Michaux) Vahl 119
Sea lavender Limonium carolinianum (Walter) Britton 121
Sea oxeye Borrichia frutescens (L.) DC 123
Sea blite Suaeda linearis (Ell.) Moq 125
Saltmarsh aster Aster tenuifolius L. 127
Maritime gerardia Agalinis maritima (Raf.) Raf. 129
Marsh pink Sabatia stellaris Pursh 131
Saltmarsh loosestrife Lythrum lineare L. 133
Marsh elder Iva frutescens L. 135
Groundsel tree Baccharis halimifolia L. 137
American threesquare Scirpus pungens Vahl 139
Saltmarsh bulrush Scirpus robustus Pursh 141
Saltmarsh foxtail grass Setaria parviflora (Poir.) Kerguelen 143
Saltmarsh fleabane Pluchea odorata (L.) Cass. var. odorata auct. non. (L.) Cass 145
Marsh mallow Kosteletzkya virginica (L.) Persl 147
Big cordgrass Spartina cynosuroides (L.) Roth 149
Waterhemp Amaranthus cannabinus (L.) J. D. Sauer 151
Germander Teucrium canadense L. var. canadense 153
Part 3 Plants of Freshwater Wetlands, Tidal and Nontidal (Including Forested Wetlands) 155
Pickerelweed Pontederia cordata L. 161
Arrow arum Peltandra virginica (L.) Kunth 163
Yellow pond lily Nuphar luteum (L.) Sibthrop & Smith 165
Bultongue Sagittaria lancifolia L. 167
Arrowhead Sagittaria latifolia Willd 169
American lotus Nelumbo lutea (Willd.) Persoon 171
Narrow-leaved cattail Typha angustifolia L.; Broad-leaved cattail T. latifolia L. 173
Lizard's tail Saururus cernuus L. 175
Water willow Decodon verticillatus (L.) Ell. var. verticilatus 177
Giant bulrush Scirpus tabernaemontani K. C. Gmel 179
Soft rush Juncus effusus L. 181
Smartweeds: Polygonum punctatum Ell., P. densiflorum Meissner, P. hydropiperoides Michaux 183
Sagittate tearthumb Polygonum sagittatum L.; Hastate tearthumb P. arifolium L. 185
Water dock Rumex verticillatus L. 187
Marsh hibiscus Hibiscus moscheutos L. 189
Northern wild rice Zizania aquatica L.; Southern wild rice Zizaniopsis miliacea (Michaux) Doell & Ascherson 191
Rice cutgrass Leersia oryzoides (L.) Swartz 193
Walter's millet Echinochloa walteri (Pursh) Nash 195
Silver plume grass Saccharum brevibarbe (Michaux) Pers.; Giant beard grass S. giganteum (Walter) Pers 197
Squarestem spikerush Eleocharis quadrangulata (Michaux) R. & S.; Dwarf spikerush E. parvula (R. & S.) Link.; Blunt spikerush E. obtusa (Willd.) Schultes 199
Royal fern Osmunda regalis L. var. spectabilis (Willd.) Gray 201
Marsh fern Thelypteris palustris Schott 203
Beggar's ticks Bidens coronata (L.) Britt 205
Sneezeweed Helenium autumnale L. 207
Reed grass Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex. Steud 209
Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata L. var. pulchra (Willd.) Woodson 211
Sweet flag Acorus calamus L. 213
Jewelweed Impatiens capensis Meerb 215
Asian spiderwort Murdannia keisak Hassk 217
Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis (L.) Michaux 219
Saw grass Cladium jamaicense Crantz 221
Water hemlock Cicuta maculata L. 223
Climbing hempweed Mikania scandens (L.) Willd 225
Sedges Carex vulpinoidea Michaux; C. lurida Wahlenberg 227
Chufa Cyperus esculentus L. 229
False nettle Boehmeria cylindrica (L.) Sw. 231
Sweetpepper bush Clethra alnifolia L. 233
Button bush Cephalanthus occidentalis L. 235
Bald cypress Taxodiun distichum (L.) Richard 237
Black gum Nyssa biflora (Walter) Sargent; Tupelo N. aquatica L. 239
Red maple Acer rubrum L. 241
Spicebush Lindera benzoin 243
Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh 245
Swamp rose Rosa palustris Marsh 247
Common elderberry Sambucus canadensis L. 249
American elm Ulmus americana L. 251
Atlantic white cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) BSP 253
Swamp dogwood Cornus amomum Mill 255
Virginia willow Itea virginica L. 257
Netted chain fern Woodwardia areolata (L.) T. Moore 259
Cane Arundinaria gigantea (Walt.) Muhl 261
Ironwood Carpinus caroliniana Walter 263
Wool grass Scripus cyperinus (L.) Kunth 265
Eastern cottonwood Populus deltoides Marsh 267
Smooth alder Alnus serrulata (Aiton) Willd 269
River birch Betula nigra L. 271
Highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum L. 273
Black willow Salix nigra Marsh 275
Appendix A National Seashores and Wildlife Refuges along the Mid-Atlantic Coast 277
Appendix B Coastal State Parks and Wildlife Areas along the Mid-Atlantic Coast 279
Glossary 283
Bibliography 287
Index 291
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