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Living Shorelines: Plants for Salt Marshes and Upland Banks

Click on each habitat zone for native plants that could grow or could be planted there.

salt marsh cross section Upland Bank Salt Meadow Zone Low marsh plants

 


Plants for the Upland Bank - Salt Tolerant Native Plants for Upland Banks and Riparian Buffers (tolerates wind, airborne salt, salt in soil)

Deciduous Trees

Amelanchier canadensis

Shadbush, serviceberry

Celtis laevigatus

Sugarberry

Diospyros virginiana

Persimmon

Liquidambar styraciflua

Sweet gum

Nyssa sylvatica

Black tupelo

Prunus serotina

Black cherry

Quercus alba

White oak

Quercus phellos

Willow oak

Quercus rubra

Red oak

Quercus stellata

Post oak

Quercus virginiana

Live oak

Taxodium distichum

Bald cypress

Evergreen Trees

Ilex opaca

American holly

Juniperus virginiana

Eastern red cedar

Magnolia virginiana

Sweetbay magnolia

Pinus taeda

Loblolly pine

Shrubs

Aronia arbutifolia

Red chokeberry

Baccharis halimifolia

Groundsel bush

Clethra alnifolia

Sweet pepperbush

Ilex glabra

Inkberry

Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon holly

Iva frutescens

Marsh elder

Morella cerifera

Wax Myrtle

Morella heterophylla

Southern Bayberry

Morella pennsylvanica

Northern Bayberry

Prunus maritima

Beach plum

Rhus glabra

Smooth sumac

Sambucus nigra ssp. Canadensis

Elderberry

Vaccinium corymbosum

Highbush blueberry

Viburnum dentatum

Arrowwood

Grasses

Andropogon virginicus

Broomsedge

Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'

Switch grass, tall

Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine'

Switch grass, short

Panicum virgatum 'Rotstrahlbusch'

Switch grass, red leaves

Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Blue Stem

Spartina patens

Saltmeadow hay

Vines

Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper

Celastrus scandens

Bittersweet

Clematis virginiana

Virgins bower

Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia creeper

Passiflora incarnata

Passionflower

Herbaceous

Aquilegia canadensis

Columbine

Aster novae-angliae

New England aster

Asclepias tuberosa

Butterflyweed

Echinacea purpurea

Purple coneflower

Hibiscus moscheutos

Rose mallow

Kosteletzkya virginica

Seashore mallow

Liatris pilosa v. pilosa (graminifolia)

Grass-leaved blazing star

Liatris squarrosa

Blazing star

Lupinus perennis

Lupine

Opuntia humifusa

Prickly pear cactus

Rosa carolina

Carolina rose

Rosa palustris

Swamp rose

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed susan

Rudbeckia fulgida

Orange coneflower

Solidago sempervirens

Seaside goldenrod

Yucca filamentosa

Common Yucca

 

Upland Coastal Native Plants (need some protection from wind, salt spray)

Trees

Acer rubrum

Red maple

Carya alba

Mockernut Hickory

Carya glabra

Pignut Hickory

Cercis canadensis

Eastern redbud

Cornus florida

Dogwood

Magnolia grandiflora

Southern magnolia

Sassafras albidum

Sassafras

Ulmus americanus

American elm

Shrubs

Hamamelis virginiana

Witch hazel

Ilex decidua

Possumhaw

Ilex verticillata

Winterberry

Rhus copallinum

Winged Sumac

Rhus hirta

Staghorn Sumac

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Elderberry

Vaccinium corymbosum

Highbush Blueberry

Viburnum prunifolium

Black haw, sweet haw

Grasses

Bouteloua curtipendula

Sideoats Grama

Chasmanthium latifolium

River oats

Dichanthelium commutatum

Variable panic grass

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf Muhly

Panicum amarum

Beach Panic Grass

Schizachyrium scoparium

Little Blue Stem

Sorghastrum nutans

Indian Grass

Spartina patens

Saltmeadow Hay

Tridens flavus

Redtop

Vines

Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine

Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jasmine

Herbaceous

Aster novi-belgii

New York aster

Aster patens

Late purple aster

Baptisia australis

Blue False Indigo

Chrysopsis mariana

Maryland Goldenaster

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lance-leaved Coreopsis

Coreopsis tripteris

Tall Coreopsis

Coreopsis verticillata

Coreopsis

Echinacea pallida

Pale purple coneflower

Eupatorium coelestinum

Mist flower

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Purple boneset

Eupatorium purpureum

Joe-pye-weed

Helianthus giganteus

Giant sunflower

Heliopsis helianthoides

Ox-eye

Rudbeckia triloba

Thin-leaved coneflower

Sisiyrinchium angustifolium

Blue-eyed grass (iris family)

Solidago bicolor

Silver-rod

Solidago odora

Sweet goldenrod

Solidago rugosa

Rough-stemmed goldenrod

Solidago speciosa

Showy Goldenrod

 

Tidal Wetland and Beach / Dune Plants

Plants in this list can be used for marsh plantings or to stabilize tidal brackish or saltwater shorelines based on salinity and wetness tolerances. Check the salinity and moisture requirements for each plant so they will be planted in the appropriate conditions. Those species for use in salinity greater than 15 ppt are marked (*). (pdf version)

Low Marsh Herbaceous

Juncus roemerianus *

Black needlerush

Peltandra virginica

Arrow arum

Pontedaria cordata

Pickerelweed

Spartina alterniflora *

Saltmarsh cordgrass

Spartina cynosuroides

Big cordgrass

Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) pungens

Three-square

Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) robustus *

Saltmarsh bulrush

Schoenoplectus (Scirpus) validus

Giant bulrush

High Marsh Shrubs

Baccharis halimifolia *

Groundsel bush

Iva frutescens *

Marsh elder

Morella (Myrica) cerifera *

Wax myrtle

Morella (Myrica) pensylvanica *

Northern bayberry

Beach/Dune Herbaceous

Ammophila breviligulata *

American beachgrass

Panicum amarum *

Bitter panicum

Panicum virgatum *

Switch grass

Uniola paniculata *

Sea oats

* salinity greater than 15 ppt

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