Virginia's Tidewater Potomac Flora

In general, writes Karen T. Zachary in Cultural Landscapes of the Potomac, the vegetation of the Coastal Plain is the oak-pine forest type. “Close examination, however, reveals a mosaic of different forest” types that arise from the distinctive hydrology of the soils here. These soil characteristics include water-holding capacity and the frequency and duration of floods. “In fairly dry areas,” writes Zachary, “chestnut oak, red maple, white oak and hickory dominate, while in well-drained areas tulip poplar is added to the combination. In floodplains and along the banks of the Potomac, where vegetation has to tolerate some degree of salt water inundation, sycamore and birch thrive.”

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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