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High Elevation Red Oak Forest Plant Community

Last updated about 2 years ago

Characteristic plants of the Southern Appalachian High Elevation Red Oak Forest community.

Distinguishing characteristics: Northern Red Oak makes up 75% or more of the canopy
Occurrence: Higher elevations (3,500 - 4,500 ft) in the mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia; dry to mesic slopes and ridgetops with well-drained, rocky, acidic soils
Conservation aspects: Most forests have been logged. Disturbance and fire exclusion may increase density of understory and hinder oak regeneration. Threatened by gypsy moths causing defoliation and widespread mortality.

References:
T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Image location:
Chestoa View Loop Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 320, elevation 4,090 ft

  • 34246_88_88 Plantae > Sapindaceae

    Acer pensylvanicum

    Striped Maple

    occasional to locally abundant understory tree, leaves turn butter-yellow in fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 35304_88_88 Plantae > Sapindaceae

    Acer rubrum

    Red Maple

    occasional to locally abundant canopy tree, fast-growing understory tree that can hinder red oak regeneration

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 70857_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Ageratina altissima

    White Snakeroot

    occasional to locally abundant herb, common in "oak orchards" with more open canopy, flowering in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 04014_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Amelanchier laevis

    Allegheny Serviceberry

    spring-flowering understory tree

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 79209_88_88 Plantae > Woodsiaceae

    Athyrium filix-femina var. asplenioides

    Asplenium Ladyfern

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 96978_88_88 Plantae > Betulaceae

    Betula alleghaniensis

    Yellow Birch

    occasional to locally abundant, shade-intolerant opportunistic species common in disturbed areas

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 07427_88_88 Plantae > Cyperaceae

    Carex pensylvanica

    Pennsylvania Sedge

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 34841_88_88 Plantae > Fagaceae

    Castanea dentata

    American Chestnut

    occasional to locally abundant, used to be co-dominant canopy tree (chestnut-oak forest) before being decimated by chestnut blight, now mostly persists as root sprouts in the understory, may flower in open, sunny areas with sufficient resources, but rarely produces fruits

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 41548_88_88 Plantae > Ranunculaceae

    Clematis viorna

    Vasevine

    occasional to locally abundant summer-flowering herbaceous climbing vine

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 71300_88_88 Plantae > Liliaceae

    Clintonia umbellulata

    White Clintonia

    occasional to locally abundant spring-flowering herb, common in "oak orchards" with more open canopy, clusters of dark blue-black fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 44132_88_88 Plantae > Orobanchaceae

    Conopholis americana

    American Squawroot

    occasional to locally abundant under oak trees, lives parasitically on oak roots

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 70905_88_88 Plantae > Cornaceae

    Cornus alternifolia

    Pagoda Dogwood

    occasional to locally abundant multistemmed spring-flowering shrub with small white flowers in flat-topped clusters, dark blue berry-like fruit on red stalks in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 46219_88_88 Plantae > Betulaceae

    Corylus americana

    American Hazel

    late winter to early spring flowering shrub, edible nuts in late summer and fall quickly harvested by squirrels, blue jays, and other wildlife

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 37191_88_88 Plantae > Betulaceae

    Corylus cornuta

    Beaked Hazel

    occasional to locally abundant shrub, flowering late winter to early spring, edible nuts in late summer and fall quickly harvested by squirrels, blue jays, and other wildlife

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 61556_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Crataegus macrosperma

    Bigfruit Hawthorn

    occasional to locally abundant small thicket-forming understory tree, white to pink flowers and long, sharp thorns, conspicuous reddish fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 99675_88_88 Plantae > Dennstaedtiaceae

    Dennstaedtia punctilobula

    Scented Hay Fern

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 54594_88_88 Plantae > Dioscoreaceae

    Dioscorea villosa

    Fourleaf Yam

    occasional to locally abundant herbaceous climbing vine with tiny yellow-green spring flowers and showy, three-winged fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 35920_88_88 Plantae > Dryopteridaceae

    Dryopteris campyloptera

    Mountain Woodfern

    occasional to locally abundant ground-cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 28456_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Eurybia macrophylla

    Bigleaf Aster

    occasional to locally abundant fall-flowering herb, common in "oak orchards" with more open canopy, large heart-shaped basal leaves

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 01005_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Eutrochium purpureum

    Joe-pye Weed

    rare summer-flowering herb

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 49841_88_88 Plantae > Diapensiaceae

    Galax urceolata

    Beetleweed

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • Plantae > Ericaceae

    Gaylussacia ursina

    Bear Huckleberry

    occasional to locally abundant deciduous shrub, endemic to the Southern Appalachians, edible dark blue-black berries in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
    USDA Plants Database
  • 34000_88_88 Plantae > Hamamelidaceae

    Hamamelis virginiana

    American Witchhazel

    occasional to locally abundant understory shrub, leaves turn butter-yellow in fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 51776_88_88 Plantae > Aquifoliaceae

    Ilex montana

    Mountain Winterberry

    occasional to locally abundant understory shrub, conspicuous reddish fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 37156_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Kalmia latifolia

    Mountain Laurel

    occasional to locally abundant evergreen understory shrub, flowers in late spring

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 46354_88_88 Plantae > Urticaceae

    Laportea canadensis

    Canadian Woodnettle

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 34482_88_88 Plantae > Magnoliaceae

    Liriodendron tulipifera

    Tulip Poplar

    shade-intolerant opportunistic tree found in disturbed areas

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 04710_88_88 Plantae > Primulaceae

    Lysimachia quadrifolia

    Whorled Yellow Loosestrife

    occasional to locally abundant spring-flowering herb, common in "oak orchards" with more open canopy, whorled leaves and yellow flowers in late spring and summer

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 93925_88_88 Plantae > Asparagaceae

    Maianthemum canadense

    Canada Mayflower

    occasional to locally abundant spring-flowering herb, forms dense mats of short-stemmed plants, tiny white flowers in spring, translucent red berries in late summer

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 84788_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Nabalus roanensis

    Roan Mountain Rattlesnakeroot

    rare endemic species, listed threatened in Tennessee, flowers in late summer

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
    Tennessee Natural Heritage Program: Rare Plant List 2008
  • 99128_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Oclemena acuminata

    Whorled Wood Aster

    occasional to locally abundant herb, flowers in summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 26188_88_88 Plantae > Osmundaceae

    Osmunda claytoniana

    Interrupted Fern

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 07048_88_88 Plantae > Orobanchaceae

    Pedicularis canadensis

    Early Lousewort

    occasional to locally abundant, spring-flowering herb attracting bumblebees, common in "oak orchards" with more open canopy

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 17819_88_88 Plantae > Fagaceae

    Quercus montana

    Chestnut Oak

    occasional to locally abundant canopy tree

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 42001_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Rhododendron calendulaceum

    Flame Azalea

    occasional to locally abundant deciduous understory shrub, brightly colored flowers (orange to yellow) in late spring, often tumor-like green galls on stem tips

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 44921_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Rhododendron catawbiense

    Catawba Rhododendron

    occasional to locally abundant evergreen understory shrub, pink/purple flowers in late spring

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 34266_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Rhododendron maximum

    Rosebay

    occasional to locally abundant evergreen understory shrub, white to light pink flowers in early summer

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 79149_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae

    Robinia pseudoacacia

    Black Locust

    occasional to locally abundant spring-flowering tree, shade-intolerant opportunistic species common in disturbed areas

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 01878_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Rubus allegheniensis

    Allegheny Blackberry

    occasional to locally abundant shrub, clusters of edible dark blue-black fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 05429_88_88 Plantae > Smilacaceae

    Smilax herbacea

    Smooth Carrionflower

    occasional to locally abundant herbaceous climbing vine with odorous yellow-green flower clusters attracting carrion flies, clusters of dark blue-black fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 46000_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Solidago curtisii

    Mountain Decumbent Goldenrod

    occasional to locally abundant herb, flowering late summer to fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 02802_88_88 Plantae > Thelypteridaceae

    Thelypteris noveboracensis

    New York Fern

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 75391_88_88 Plantae > Melanthiaceae

    Trillium erectum

    Wakerobin

    occasional to locally abundant spring ephemeral, conspicuous reddish fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 43478_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Vaccinium

    Blueberries

    Deciduous understory shrubs, misc. species, red, blue, or black berries in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 90440_88_88 Plantae > Adoxaceae

    Viburnum lantanoides

    Hobblebush

    occasional to locally abundant spring-flowering understory shrub

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.