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Recently Updated Plant Articles

scrubby pine tree with mountains in background

Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens)

Updated January 27th, 2021

A scrubby pine of exposed, rocky sites, mostly found at high elevations in the Appalachians.

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Swamp Chestnut Oak

Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii)

Updated January 12th, 2021

A white oak of bottomlands in the southeastern coastal plain and Mississippi valley, superficially resembling the chestnut oak.

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Chinquapin Oak

Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

Updated January 8th, 2021

A white oak native to North America, preferring soils high in calcium.

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Recently Updated Ecoregion Articles

A road crossing a tidal river, with marshes and industrial development on either side, a big city skyline in the background.
North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Southeastern USA Plains » Northern Piedmont »

Hackensack Meadowlands

Updated March 1st, 2021

A low, marshy area near New York City, severely degraded by industry, urbanization, drainage, and artificial fill.

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Piedmont Limestone/Dolomite Lowlands
North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Southeastern USA Plains » Northern Piedmont »

Piedmont Limestone/Dolomite Lowlands

Updated February 26th, 2021

A low, flat area with exceptionally fertile soils, heavily utilized for agriculture.

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An open wetland with some cattails in the foreground, forest in the background, all lush and green
North America » Eastern Temperate Forests » Southeastern USA Plains » Northern Piedmont »

Passaic Basin Freshwater Wetlands

Updated February 26th, 2021

A low, poorly-drained area of freshwater wetlands formed from a glacial lake, supporting marshes, peatlands, and swamps.

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Recently Updated ID / Comparison Guides

collage of Northern Red Oak and Jack Oak

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) vs. Jack Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

Updated February 15th, 2021

These two species are occasionally confused where their ranges overlap, but they can be distinguished with skill at any time of year. Northern red oak prefers richer sites and is much more shade tolerant. The two species can hybridize and form intergrades, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals.

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collage of American Holly and European Holly

American Holly (Ilex opaca) vs. European Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Updated January 26th, 2021

These two broadleaf evergreen trees with spiny leaves are often confused, mainly in landscaping in the east. They are easily distinguished by their foliage, and they also have differences in fruit. In the east, European holly is rare outside of landscaping, but in the west it is widely invasive; American holly is native in the east and not found in the west.

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collage of Northern Red Oak and Black Oak

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) vs. Black Oak (Quercus velutina)

Updated January 23rd, 2021

Although these species sometimes look blatantly different, significant variation in individual leaf shape and other characteristics can make these species challenging to tell apart in some cases. There is some overlap in habitat, with black oak preferring slightly drier sites and northern red oak being more shade-tolerant. The two species can also hybridize and form intergrades, so it may not be possible to identify all individuals.

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Recent News (Blog)

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February 9th, 2021

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