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Restore Your Shore

Plant Guide: Native Plant Communities


Transitional Zone: Wet meadows

native wildflowers in wet meadow

Wet meadows are treeless plant communities on wet soil dominated by broad-leaved, herbaceous plants with lesser amounts of grasses and sedges. Wet meadows are common as a narrow band along the shores of shallow lakes, along stream margins, and at the edges of marshes.

Common wet meadow plants include: spotted Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatoriadelphus maculatus), white turtlehead (Chelone glabra), lake sedge (Carex lacustris), and bluejoint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis).

Wet meadows differ from marshes because they grow in wet soil but not in standing water, and they differ from prairies because they are not dominated by grasses.

Soil nutrient levels are usually high in the wet meadow zone, so the vegetation is often dense and tall. It provides excellent habitat for songbirds, but it also acts as a barrier to geese that will not pass through it, not even to graze on a mowed lawn.


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