Southern New Jersey Botanical Sites

Extrapolated from a list by Karl Anderson, with permission
Assunpink Wildlife Management Area (Monmouth County) - Much of this site is old fields, but there are some good floodplain forests and beech-dominated hardwood forest. Some areas east of Stone Tavern-Assunpink Road have a fairly good seasonal display of spring wildflowers including nodding trillium and mayapple; and dry roadsides have trailing arbutus and fringed polygala.

Double Trouble State Park (Ocean County) - This is an excellent pine barrens site, with habitats including old fields, upland pine and oak forests, cranberry bog, cedar swamp, and savannahs along Cedar Creek. Turkeybeard, orange milkwort, pitcher plant, sundews, all the expected heaths, and a great variety of sedges and rushes can be found.

Lebanaon State Forest (Burlington County) - Another pine barrens site. A drive from the office to the cedar swamp at Shinn's Branch, and a return past Reeves'cranberry bog, goes through upland oak and upland pine forests, cedar swamp, lowland pine forest, and hardwood swamp, with most of the typical plants.

Wharton State Forest (Burlington, Camden, and Atlantic Counties) This enormous state forest includes all the pine barrens habitats and typical plants. Areas of particular botanical interest include the savannahs along the Batsto River north and south of Quaker Bridge, and on the Oswego River upstream from Martha, which have many rarities. and a great variety of sedges.

Island Beach State Park (Ocean County) This state park is the best remaining example of a barrier island in New Jersey, with dune ponds, primary and secondary dunes, dune woodland, and salt marsh. Beach heather, seaside spurge, beachgrass, and several species of fruticose lichens are conspicuous on old dunes. Numerous trails go east and west from the main park road; all provide a good sample of the flora.

Great Bay Wildlife Management Area (Ocean County) A drive along Great Bay Boulevard traverses salt marshes from high marsh to bay shore. In addition to the usual grasses, one can find seashore mallow, sea pink, annual and perennial salt marsh asters, salt marsh bulrush, seaside gerardia, and other species.

Egg Island Wildlife Management Area (Cumberland County) This area and nearby sites along Delaware Bay have salt marshes much like those along the Atlantic shore; but they also have lowland forests with a distinctly southern aspect. Along Hansey Creek Road, one might find species as water oak, basket oak, and loblolly pine, growing with Spanish oak, American holly, and sweet gum.

Belleplain State Forest (Cape May County) This state park has a mix of habitats. It includes cedar swamps and poor fens similar to those in the pin barrens farther north, but also has hardwood swamps, Viringia pine forests, and southern mixed oak forests.

Other places of note:

Bear Swamp, Cumberland County

Bennett Bogs, Cape May County

Like to suggest an area? Send us your suggestions.