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February 14, 2014

DNR Releases Report on Status of Maryland’s Native Plant Species

by kking
Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) is an extremely rare perennial found in a few location along the Potomac River and along the Susquehanna River in Cecil County.

Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) is an extremely rare perennial found in a few locations along the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers. Photo: Richard Wiegand

 

The Department of Natural Resources has released the Maryland Botanical Heritage Work Group report, which details the richness of Maryland’s native flora and explains how a fairly small State is home to such a diverse range of plant species. The report explores why certain native plants and their associated habitats have become scarce, and recommends State solutions.

“Native plants are the very foundation of our natural environment, but too many of Maryland’s native plant and animal communities are severely stressed by a combination of habitat destruction, the invasion of non-native species, and overabundance of white-tailed deer,” said Work Group Chair Kirsten Johnson. “I hope this report focuses attention on the importance of native plants, and the conservation measures necessary to preserve Maryland’s unique botanical heritage.”

The Botanical Heritage Work Group was an ad-hoc team of scientists, natural resources professionals and legislators created by the General Assembly in 2013 to carry out a study of Maryland’s native plants. The group was tasked with reporting on the current status and conservation needs of native plants, and associated threats to their communities, as well as guiding a protection and enhancement plan to preserve this important resource for future generations.

To view or download the report visit, dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Plants_Wildlife/MD_Botanical_WG.asp

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