The Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), a facility of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, is a 13–acre greenhouse, nursery, and seed bank complex located on Staten Island, NY.

Coastal Maritime

In the New York City area, the coastal maritime plant communities are represented in the following habitats: Beach/Dunegrass, Stabilized Back Dunes, Maritime Grassland, Maritime Shrubland, and Successional Maritime Forest.

Download the Coastal Maritime Species List (PDF, 53 KB)

Beach/Dunegrass

This sparse plant community is dominated by only a few salt grasses and herbaceous species. Sand is relatively unstable.

Herbs

  • Cakile edentula – American searocket
  • Solidago sempervirens – Seaside goldenrod

Graminoids

  • Ammophila brevigulata – Beach grass
  • Panicum amarum – Bitter panic grass
  • Panicum virgatum – Switch grass

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Stabilized Back Dunes

A community dominated by grasses and low shrubs

Shrubs

  • Arctostaphylos uva–ursi – Bearberry
  • Hudsonia tomentosa – False beach heather
  • Lechea maritima – Beach pin weed
  • Myrica pensylvanica – Bayberry
  • Prunus maritima – Beach plum

Cacti

  • Oputina humifusa – Prickly Pear Cactus

Graminoids

  • Panicum virgatum – Switch grass
  • Schizachyrium scoparium – Little bluestem

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Maritime Grassland

The maritime grassland community is characterized by low-lying areas near the coast that are subject to wind and occasional salt spray.

Shrubs

  • Myrica pensylvanica – Bayberry
  • Rhus copallinum – Winged sumac
  • Rubus flagellaris – Northern dewberry

Herbs

  • Asclepias syriaca – Common milkweed
  • Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly weed
  • Eupatorium altissimum – Tall thoroughwort
  • Eupatorium hyssopifolium – Late boneset
  • Euthamia graminifolia – Flat–top goldenrod
  • Euthamia tenuifolia – Coastal plain flat–topped goldenrod
  • Lespedeza capitata – Bush clover lespedeza
  • Oenothera biennis – Evening primrose
  • Pityopsis falcata – Falcate golden aster
  • Solidago canadensis – Common goldenrod
  • Solidago rugosa – Wrinkled–leaved goldenrod
  • Symphyotrichum ericoides – White heath aster
  • Symphyotrichum novae–angliae – New England aster

Graminoids

  • Andropogon virginicus – Broom sedge
  • Carex pensylvanica – Pennsylvania sedge
  • Danthonia spicata – Wild oatgrass
  • Deschampsia flexuosa – Common hair grass
  • Juncus greenei – Greene's rush
  • Panicum virgatum – Switch grass
  • Schizachyrium scoparium – Little bluestem
  • Sorghastrum nutans – Indian grass

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Maritime Shrubland

This community is subject to salt spray and offshore winds. Shrubs are found to be more dominant than herbaceous species.

Trees/ Shrubs

  • Acer rubrum – Red maple
  • Amelanchier canadensis – Canadian serviceberry
  • Aronia melanocarpa – Black chokeberry
  • Clethra alnifolia – Sweet pepperbush
  • Hudsonia tomentosa – False heather
  • Ilex opaca – American holly
  • Juniperus virginiana – Eastern red cedar
  • Myrica pensylvanica – Bayberry
  • Prunus maritima – Beach plum
  • Prunus serotina – Black cherry
  • Rhus copallina – Shining sumac
  • Rosa virginiana – Low–pasture rose
  • Sassafras albidum – Sassafras
  • Vaccinium corymbosum – High bush blueberry
  • Vibernum dentatum – Southern arrowwood

Vines

  • Celastrus scandens – American bittersweet
  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia creeper
  • Smilax glauca – Cat Greenbrier
  • Smilax rotundifolia – Round leaved Greenbrier
  • Toxidendron radicans – Common poison–ivy

Herbs

  • Eupatorium album – White thoroughwort
  • Euthamia graminifolia – Flat–top goldenrod
  • Maianthemum stellatum – False Solomon’s seal
  • Oenothera biennis – Evening primrose
  • Opuntia humifusa – Prickly pear
  • Solidago sempervirens – Seaside goldenrod

Graminoids

  • Panicum amarum – Bitter panicgrass
  • Panicum virgatum – Switch grass
  • Schizachyrium scoparium – Little bluesteam

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Successional Maritime Forest

A maritime forest will naturally succeed a maritime shrubland if it is left undisturbed. A minimal amount of herbaceous material at ground-level will be able to survive.

Trees/Shrubs

  • Acer rubrum – Red maple
  • Amelanchier canadensis – Canadian serviceberry
  • Betula populifolia – Gray birch
  • Celtis occidentalis – Hackberry
  • Ilex opaca – American holly
  • Juniperus virginiana – Eastern red cedar
  • Myrica pensylvanica – Bayberry
  • Pinus rigida – Pitch pine
  • Prunus serotina – Black cherry
  • Rhus copallina – Shining sumac
  • Rhus glabra – Smooth sumac
  • Rhus typhina – Staghorn sumac
  • Rosa carolina – Pasture rose
  • Rosa virginiana – Low–pasture rose
  • Sassafras albidum – Sassafras
  • Vaccinium corymbosum – High bush blueberry

Vines

  • Celastrus scandens – American bittersweet
  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia creeper
  • Smilax glauca – Cat greenbrier
  • Smilax rotundifolia – Round leaved greenbrier
  • Toxidendron radicans – Common poison–ivy

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