• Poplar Grove National Cemetery Luminary Event (photo courtesy of Joanne Williams)

    Petersburg

    National Battlefield Virginia

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  • Attn. GPS Users - Advice for Seeking Directions to the Park

    If you are using a GPS unit, please click here: More »

  • No Parking Available in the Eastern Front Unit August 2

    Free shuttle service will transport all visitors to and from the Eastern Front Unit on August 2 during 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater events. Shuttles will depart from the Farmer's Market located at 9 Old St. in Old Towne Petersburg.

  • Eastern Front Unit Trails Closed to Horse Traffic on August 2

    Those who would like to ride horses at the park on Aug. 2 are encouraged to use the trails at Five Forks in Dinwiddie County as other trails will be closed to horses that day while the park commemorates the 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater.

Plants

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Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) in Petersburg National Battlefield

NPS Photo

Petersburg National Battlefield consists of a number of different habitat types. These habitats include upland coastal plain, piedmont forest, old field, managed field, marsh, and riverine vegetation. This diversity of habitats allows for a large, varied plant population. To date, 170 species of vascular plants have been documented within the park.

Forests make up the largest portion of the park, and play host to a variety of tree species. These forests range from pine to mixed pine/hardwood in composition. In the marshy habitat of the park, many wetland plants have been inventoried.

The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and North Carolina State University, is in the process of creating vegetation maps of the park. Sample plots of areas will be intensively studied to identify vegetation type and the extent of cover for each species within the plots. This data will be correlated with aerial photos, topographic maps, and soil surveys to determine and classify plant communities according to National Vegetation Classification System descriptions. The end product will be a complete map of the vegetation classes for the battlefield.

One of Petersburg National Battlefield’s main problems is exotic and invasive plant species. Exotics documented within the park include Mimosa, Tree of Heaven, Japanese Stiltgrass, and Johnson Grass, to name a few. To find out more about the park’s battle against invasive and exotics, why these non-native plants are a problem, and what you can do to stop the spread of these harmful species, look in the Environmental Factors section.

Did You Know?

Former Slaves at City Point, Virginia

Slaves who entered Union lines and came to City Point, Virginia (present day Hopewell) during the Siege of Petersburg, were typically employed unloading ships and working in the hospitals. (Petersburg National Battlefield)