coastal plant inventory


This project inventoried the plants around a cottage on Cape Cod to identify the invasive plants and recommend plants that would do well in the very sandy conditions around the house.

plant palette

native trees

Pitch Pine

Pinus rigida

Wonderful curving branch shapes. good cover for birds, good winter interest

Scrub  Oak

Quercus ilicifolia

Great for dry sandy areas grows only to 20' so it does not block views

Drought tolerant

Black Tupelo

Nyssa sylvatica

Cool horizontal branching, fall color that starts with early single bright red leaves and then crescendos to an entire flaming red, Creates thickets in wet areas.  Tree on the left by the dunes

Invasive Tree Species 

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia

The trees that grow down by the driveway and have hard stumps

Norway maple 

Acer platenoides

There are not a lot of Norway maples but there is one near the clothes line that is overdaking a nice red oak

native shrubs


Amelanchier canadensis

The showiest spring tree of the New England woods.   Their white blossoms are showy yet delicate.   

Small understory tree


Vaccinum corymbosum

Beautiful fall color 

Forms colonies, Recommended for birds

Tall shrub


Morella pensylvanica

Good for privacy and to give birds cover

 Medium to tall shrub depending on wind stress

Groundsel Bush

Baccharis halimifolia

Great white flowers in fall, very tolerant of salt.   

Tall shrub

Swamp Azalea

Rhododendron viscosum

I plant with wonderful, sencted flowers.

Medium shrub for wet areas

Pasture Rose

Rosa virginiana

Hardy beautiful rose with great hips. 

Small shrub


Viburnum dentatum

Medium shrub  with white spring flowers that is well liked by wildlife for its blue berries.  It is growing on the inside of the curve in the driveway.

Sweet fern

Comptonia peregrina

Slow growing and spreading shrub with a wonderful scent and interesting flowers

Low Shrub

Invasive Shrubs

Morrow's honeysuckle

Lonciera morrowii

This is the dominant, and therefore most invasive plant on the lane.

Autumn olive

Elaeagnus umbellata

Tall shrub that tends to fall over and take up a lot of space.  A large one is in front of the deck near the Smyth's


Ligustrum vulgare

The privets started as the hedge by Route 6A but are all over the yard as seedlings.

invasive vines


Celastrus orbiculatus


Vinca pervinca

English ivy

Hedera helix

native perennials 

Sundial lupine

Lupinis perennis

Great late spring perennial more delicate than the garden perennial and loves hot sandy locations

Seaside goldenrod

Solidago semperverins

A showy goldenrod with nice leaves too.   Loves it hot and sandy

Butterfly weed

Asclepias tuberosa

Another plant that loves is hot and dry.  Blooms mid summer

native grasses and groundcovers

Coastal bluestem

Schizachyrium littorale

1' to 2'


Panicum virgatum

Nice grass that doesn't get too aggressive and has good fall color 

3' to 4'


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Good ground cover with few weeds. Tolerates hot, dry, salty conditions

Very Low Shrub