A Checklist of the Plants of New Jersey 2011

This Check List of the Plants of New Jersey has been compiled by updating and integrating the catalogs prepared by such authors as Nathaniel Lord Britton (1881 and 1889), Witmer Stone (1911), and Norman Taylor (1915) with such other sources as recently-published local lists, field trip reports of the Torrey Botanical Society and the Philadelphia Botanical Club, the New Jersey Natural Heritage Programs list of threatened and endangered plants, personal observations in the field and the herbarium, and observations by other competent field botanists.

The Check List includes 2,758 species, a botanical diversity that is rather unexpected in a small state like New Jersey. Of these, 1,944 are plants that are (or were) native to the state - still a large number, and one that reflects New Jersey's habitat diversity. The balance are plants that have been introduced from other countries or from other parts of North America. The list could be lengthened by hundreds of species by including non-persistent garden escapes and obscure waifs and ballast plants, many of which have not been seen in New Jersey since the nineteenth century, but it would be misleading to do so.

The Check List should include all the plants that are truly native to New Jersey, plus all the introduced species that are naturalized here or for which there are relatively recent records, as well as many introduced plants of very limited occurrence. But no claims are made for the absolute perfection of the list. Plant nomenclature is constantly being revised. Single old species may be split into several new species, or multiple old species may be combined into one. In some cases, taxonomic changes have made it almost impossible to be certain of the identity of plants noted in the old literature. Errors are made in trip reports, and mislabeling of herbarium specimens is not unknown. Some of the introduced species of limited occurrence are probably no longer present in the state, and there are no doubt recent introductions that have gone unrecorded.

In the list, an "X" after an entry indicates a native species that is known to be extirpated from the state. An "H" indicates a native plant that historically was found in New Jersey, but has not been seen in recent years; most of these species probably have also been extirpated, although occasionally one is relocated. A U is a native species whose rarity is uncertain. An "AN' indicates that the species is alien, having been introduced into New Jersey from someplace other than the remaining continental United States or Canada, and is to some degree naturalized here. An "NN" indicates a North American species that was not originally native to New Jersey but has been introduced and naturalized here from someplace else in the continental United States or Canada.

An "AO" after an entry indicates that the species is alien and occasionally found growing without cultivation, but is probably not truly naturalized; this is a catch-all category for a variety of garden escapes and marginally persisent or very local introductions. An "NO" indicates a species that is not native to New Jersey but is occasionally introduced here from elsewhere in North America, but is probably not naturalized. Where no letters follow an entry the species is native to New Jersey and is believed to still be present. The scientific nomenclature in the Check List is generally from The PLANTS Database (USDA, NRCS, 2011), National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge LA. Some synonyms have been included in parentheses; these are generally from Gleason and Cronquist's Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd Edition (1991). In general, only full species are included in the Check List, but some subspecies and varieties have been included to facilitate comparison with previous versions of this Check List and with the New Jersey Natural Heritage Programs List of Endangered Plant Species and Plant Species of Concern, January 2010. The English names have mostly been taken from The PLANTS Database, even though many of these names are at variance with widely used and long-accepted names that appear in standard field guides and earlier versions of this list. They have been included only for the sake of completeness. Use the scientific names when comparing this list to others.

To view the list, click here. (172.06 KB)

Used with permission of Karl Anderson.