Maritime Forest

.....The maritime forest can be distinguished from the shrub forest by its clearly defined canopy. This high canopy shades out many of the shrub forest plants. Some plants are able to survive in this low light environment and make up the understory of the forest. The soil in the forest is very moist and fertile to support these large trees. It may take up to a century for these types of soil conditions to develop.

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All plant illustrations on this page are courtesy of Taylor Schoettle's A Guide to a Georgia Barrier Islands. Click here for ordering and contact info.


Common Name: Live Oak
Linnaeus Classification: Quercus virginiana
Description: leathery oblong leaf, black narrow acorn

Common Name: Sweetgum
Linnaeus Classification: Liguidambar styraciflua
Description: five-pointed leaf, round spiny gum balls
Common Name: Water Oak
Linnaeus Classification: Quercus nigra
Description: spatula shaped leaf, yellow-brown acorn
Common Name: Laurel Oak
Linnaeus Classification: Quercus laurifolia
Description: elliptical leaf, brown acorn
Common Name: Pignut Hickory
Linnaeus Classification: Carya glabra
Description: five leaflets, pear-shaped nut
Common Name: Southern Magnolia
Linnaeus Classification: Magnolia grandiflora
Description: shiny leaf with rusty underside, large white flowers in spring
Common Name: Sycamore
Linnaeus Classification: Platanus occidentalis
Description: blotched bark, faceted balls
Common Name: Sparkleberry or Tree Blueberry
Linnaeus Classification: Vaccinium arbureum
Description: small tree w/ small shiny leaf abd black berry, clusters of pink and white flowers in spring
Common Name: American Holly
Linnaeus Classification: Ilex opaca
Description: small to mid-sized tree, spiny leaf, red berries
Common Name: Elephant's Foot
Linnaeus Classification: Elephantopus tomentosus
Description: hairy basal leaves, long stalk w/ purple flowers at end
Common Name: Saw Palmetto
Linnaeus Classification: Sereona ripens
Description: saw-toothed edges of leaf stalks, leaflets grow out from center
Common Name: Sassafras
Linnaeus Classification: Sassafras albidum
Description: small tree, lobed leaf, distinct odor
Common Name: Coral Root
Linnaeus Classification: Corallorhiza wisteriana
Description: rust-colored orchid, stalk w/ few small flowers, no leaves
Common Name: Devil's Walking Stick
Linnaeus Classification: Aralia spinosa
Description: whorles of thorns, long branching leaves w/ many leaflets
Common Name: Beauty Berry
Linnaeus Classification: Callicarpa americana
Description: shrub w/ berries at leaf axe, sperical clusters of purple-magenta flowers in spring
Common Name: Laurel Cherry
Linnaeus Classification: Prunus caroliniana
Description: small to mid-sized tree, shiny leaf w/ sharp points on leaf margin, black berry