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State Plant Listings

Rhode Island

Vegetation References

(Dominant plant species present in each vegetation type are listed in Appendix C)

95 Appalachian Oak Forest (Quercus)

Botanical Expert

Rick Enser, Coordinator/Botanist
Rhode Island Natural Heritage Program
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
251 Promenade St.
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 277-2776 ext. 4308
(401) 277-2069 (fax)

Recommended Flora

Gould, L.L., R.W. Enser, R.E. Champlin, and I.S. Stuckey. 1998. Vascular Flora of Rhode Island: A List of Native and Naturalized Plants. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston, RI. 261 pgs. ISBN 1-887771-01-8.

Gleason, H.A.; A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd Edition. New York Botanical Garden, New York. 910 pgs. + map. ISBN 0893273651.

Native Plants for Landscape Use in Rhode Island

Ferns

Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (shield fern, toothed wood fern, spinulose shield fern)
Dryopteris cristata (crested wood fern, buckler fern)
Dryopteris marginalia (marginal wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern, bead fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalia (royal fern)
Phegopteris hexagonoptera (broad beech fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris novaboracensis (New York fern, tapering fern)
Thelypteris simulata (Massachusetts fern)
Woodwardia areolata (netted chain fern)
Woodwardia virginica (Virginia chain fern)

Forbs (annuals/biennials)

Lobelia spicata (pale lobelia)
Oenothera biennia (common evening primrose)

Forbs (perennials)

Acorus calamus (sweet flag, calamus)
Ageratina altissima var. altissima (white snakeroot)
Allium canadense (wild garlic)
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)
Anemone cylindrica (thimbleweed, candle anemone)
Antennaria spp. (pussytoes, everlasting)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)
Arisaema triphyllum Back-in-the-pulpit, Indian turnip)
Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
Asclepias verticillata (whorled milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster dumosus (bushy aster)
Aster ericoides (heath aster, white wreath aster)
Aster laevis (smooth aster)
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster)
Aster pilosus (frost aster)
Aster puniceus (red-stem aster, swamp aster)
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold, cowslip)
Campanula rotundifolia (harebell)
Chelone glabra (turtlehead)
Clintonia borealis (clintonia, blue-bead lily)
Coptis trifolia ssp. groenlandica (goldthread)
Corpus canadensis (bunchberry)
Desmodium canadense (Canada tick-trefoil, Canada tickclover)
Epilobium angustifolium (fireweed, willow herb)
Erythronium americanum (eastern trout lily, yellow trout lily)
Eupatorium fistulosum (Joe-pye weed)
Eupatorium maculatum (spotted Joe-pye weed)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset)
Eupatorium purpureum (Joe-pye weed)
Euthamia graminifolia var. graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium triflorum (sweet-scented bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium, cranesbill)
Geum rivale (purple avens, water avens)
Helianthus strumosus (woodland sunflower)
Houstonia caerulea (bluets)
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow star grass)
Iris prismatica (slender blue flag, coastal iris)
Iris versicolor (blue flag)
Lespedeza capitata (roundheaded bush clover)
Lilium canadense (wild yellow lily, Canada lily)
Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)
Linum virginianum (woodland flax)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower)
Lupinus perennis (wild lupine)
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (wild lily-of-the-valley, Canada mayflower)
Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum (false Solomon's seal, false spikenard)
Maianthemum stellatum (starry Solomon's seal)
Mitchella repens (partridge berry)
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot, horsemint, beebalm)
Nuphar lutea (yellow pond lily, cow lily, spatter dock)
Osmorhiza claytoni (sweet cicely, sweet jarvil)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (slender mountain mint)
Pycnanthemum virginianum (mountain mint)
Pyrola elliptica (shinleaf)
Rhexia virginica (meadow beauty)
Rudbeckia laciniata (cut-leaf coneflower)
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)
Silene stellata (starry campion)
Sisyrinchium angustifolium (narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass)
Sisyrinchium mucronatum (eastern blue-eyed grass)
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod, wreath goldenrod)
Solidago juncea (early goldenrod, plume goldenrod)
Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod, old-field goldenrod)
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod)
Solidago rigida (stiff goldenrod)
Solidago rugosa (rough-leaved goldenrod)
Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod)
Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod)
Solidago ulmifolia (elm-leaved goldenrod)
Thalictrum dasycarpum (tall or purple meadow rue)
Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow rue)
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow rue)
Trientalis borealis ssp. borealis (starflower)
Trillium cernuum (nodding trillium)
Uvularia sessilifolia (wildoats, merrybells)
Verbena hastata (blue verbena, blue vervain)
Viola conspersa (American dog violet)
Viola pedata (bird-foot violet)
Viola pubescens (downy or smooth yellow violet)
Viola soraria (common blue violet, meadow violet)

Grasses/Grass-like plants

Agrostis scabra (ticklegrass, fly-away grass)
Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)
Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)
Andropogon virginicus (broom sedge)
Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint grass)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stipata (awl-fruited sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Carex utriculata (beaked sedge)
Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Deschampsia cespitosa (tufted hairgrass)
Distichlis spicata (seashore saltgrass)
Eleocharis palustris (creeping spikesedge, spike rush)
Elymus hystrix var. hystrix (bottlebrush grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass, tumblegrass)
Hierochloe odorata (sweet grass)
Juncus effusus var. solutus (soft rush)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
Scirpus acutus (hardstem bulrush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (wool grass)
Scirpus maritimus (alkali bulrush, prairie bulrush, bayonet grass)
Scirpus tabernaemontani (great bulrush)
Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass)
Spartina patens (marsh hay cordgrass, salt meadow cordgrass)
Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass, freshwater cordgrass)
Sporobolus compositus var. compositus (tall dropseed)
Trisetum spicatum (spike trisetum)
Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)
Typha latifolia (cattail)

Shrubs (deciduous)

Alnus incana (speckled alder, mountain alder)
Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amelanchier arborea (downy serviceberry, shadbush, Juneberry)
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry)
Baccharis halimifolia (sea myrtle, groundsel bush)
Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea, red root)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Clethra alnifolia (summer sweet)
Cornus alternifolia (pogoda dogwood, alternate- leaved dogwood)
Cornus amomum ssp. obliqua (swamp dogwood, silky dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)
Corylus americana (American hazelnut or filbert)
Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut or filbert)
Diervilla lonicera (bush honeysuckle)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry, black alder)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera dioica (limber or wild honeysuckle)
Lyonia ligustrina (male-berry, male-blueberry)
Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
Rhododendron canadense (rhodora)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rhus copallinum (dwarf or winged sumac)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus hirta (staghorn sumac)
Rosa blanda (early wild rose, smooth rose)
Rosa carolina (Carolina rose)
Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (red raspberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry, thimbleberry)
Salix bebbiana (Bebb willow, long-beaked willow)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus canadensis (elderberry, common elder)
Sambucus racemosa var. pubens (scarlet elderberry, red-berried elder)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush, hardhack)
Vaccinium angustifolium (low-bush blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosom (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple leaf viburnum)
Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood)
Viburnum lentago (black haw, nannyberry)
Viburnum nudum (possumhaw viburnum)
Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides (wild raisin)

Shrubs (evergreen)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry, kinnikinnik)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen, checkerberry)
Ilex glabra (inkberry, bitter gallberry)
Juniperus communis (common juniper)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel, lambkill kalmia)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay, great laurel)

Trees (deciduous)

Acer negundo (box elder)
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier canadensis (shadblow serviceberry, Juneberry)
Betula lenta (cherry birch)
Betula papyrifera (paper birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (blue beech, hornbeam, musclewood)
Carya alba (mockernut hickory)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut, swamp hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Celtis occidentalis (hackberry, sugarberry)
Corpus florida (flowering dogwood)
Crataegus crus-galli (cockspur hawthorn)
Fagus grandifolia var. grandifolia (beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Juglans cinerea (butternut, white walnut)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Larix laricina (tamarack, American larch)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (black gum, tupelo)
Ostrya virginiana (ironwood, hophornbeam)
Platanus occidentalis (sycamore, plane-tree)
Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata (large-toothed aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus americana (wild plum)
Prunus pensylvanica (fire or pin cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus stellata (post oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American linden, basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Ulmus rubra (red elm, slippery elm)

Trees (evergreen)

Abies balsamea (balsam fir)
Chamaecyparis thyoides (white cedar)
Ilex opaca (American holly, Christmas holly)
Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar)
Pinus resinosa (red pine, Norway pine)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Vines (deciduous)

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

Federally Listed Endangered Species

Sandplain gerardia (Agalinis acuta)
Small whorled pogonia (Isotria medeoloides)

Rhode Island Noxious Species

Because the noxious weed lists have continually changed since we gathered them in 1994, we are not including them at this time. Not all States have noxious weed lists. Those that do, do not use the same standards of importance and are not comparable. States typically have included plants that interfere with agriculture (Canada thistle), or cause human health problems (poison ivy). Some States are now including a category of plants that invade and degrade the environment (purple loosestrife). Check with your State's Agriculture Department or Weed Scientist listed below. The noxious weed list can be used two ways on roadsides: 1) check to not inadvertently plant these invasive plants, and 2) note the plants you are legally responsible to control. Many States now check adjacent State lists to avoid planting their neighbors' problem plants. Because weeds do not respect political boundaries, and because by their very nature weeds continue to adapt and expand, monitoring and controlling invasives at State borders is a wise part of vegetation management.

(Seed Law)

Department of Environmental Management
Division of Agriculture
83 Park Street, 6th Floor
Providence, RI 02903

Raymond Taylorson
University of Rhode Island
Department of Plant Sciences
Kingston, RI 02881
(401) 792-2106

Rhode Island Resources

Natural Heritage Program
Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2776 ext. 4308

Rhode Island Wild Plant Society
PO Box 114
Peace Dale, RI 02883-0114
(401) 783-5895

The Nature Conservancy Field Office
45 South Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906
(410) 331-7110

Environment Council of Rhode Island
PO Box 8765
Providence, RI 02940

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Questions and feedback should be directed to Deirdre Remley (deirdre.remley@dot.gov, 202-366-0524).

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