Transition Zone / Upper Marsh Border

.....The transition zone is the area separating the maritime forest from the marsh community. This zone does not exist on all barrier islands, due to erosion and topography. If the land drops at a steep angle down to the marsh, the maritime forest species may grow right to the water's edge. The plants shown below are the species that define this area, but many species from the shrub zone and shrub forest can also be found here.

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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: Cabbage Palm
Linnaeus Classification: Sabal palmetto
Description: pinnately-arranged leaves w/ no spines on leaf stalk

Common Name: Narrow-Leaf Groundsel Tree or False Wilow
Linnaeus Classification: Baccharis angustifolia
Description: Similiar to the groundsel-tree, but rarer and wit narrower leaf
Common Name: Red Cedar
Linnaeus Classification: Juniperus virginiana
Description: short needles and berry like cones
Common Name: Marsh Elder or High Tide Bush
Linnaeus Classification: Iva frutescens
Description: serrated leaf, not as fleshy as beach elder
Common Name: Salt Cedar or Tamarisk
Linnaeus Classification: Tamarix gallica
Description: small tree of shrub, similiar to red cedar but paler green and more delicate
Common Name: Groundsel Tree or Cotton Bush
Linnaeus Classification: Baccharis halimifolia
Description: irregularly shaped leaves, cotton like seed tuffs in the fall
Common Name: Salt Meadow Cordgrass
Linnaeus Classification: Spartina patens
Description: Narrow leaf blade