|The harsh conditions in many coastal areas limit the range of plant species that can be grown successfully. Indigenous or locally occurring varieties (plants grown from seed or cuttings collected from native vegetation in the area) have evolved characteristics which make them ideally suited to withstand the effects of the coastal environment, such as:
- strong persistent on-shore winds carrying sand and salt spray which dry out the leaves and soil, and can cause physical damage to less hardy plants;
- often low nutrient and dry sandy soils;
- and, salt depositing on plant leaves.
Not many plant species can tolerate the harsh growing conditions of North Carolina’s barrier islands, especially in the beach zone. At Coastal Transplants, we specialize in providing only those hardy species that are native to the area and have proven themselves in our unique coastal environment. Those plants include:
||Not many plant species can tolerate the harsh growing conditions of North Carolina’s barrier islands, especially in the beach zone. At Coastal Transplants, we specialize in providing only those hardy species that are native to the area and have proven themselves in our unique coastal environment. Those plants include:
A warm season grass that grows from New England to Mexico, this grass is recognized by its wide green to blue- green leaves. This plant is a true workhorse on the frontal dune because of its ability to trap sand and establish vegetative clumps. Spreading by underground rhizomes ( sometimes clled runners) this plant colonizes well and should be included on every frontal dune.
Sea shore Elder
|A warm season perennial that is the only non-grass sand trapper listed here. The plant has succulent leaves and a shrubby habit. The seeds naturally germinate in the wrack line (vegetative debrie ) left by the extreme high tides and therefore are the first dune builders seen on the slope of the beach. A must have plant for the true eco-system builder.
With it’s slender stems and delicate seed heads,this species is less tolerate of wind blown sand than most plants listed here. Saltmeadow Cordgrass does better in back dune areas with some available moisture. Since this plant can thrive in saline conditions that other dune plants cannot you might see this plant more often in areas that are subject to overwash. With its wispy appearance this is a great back dune plant that could be placed next to ground level decks or walkways.
aka Fire-Wheel, Indian Blanket
||Self-seeding annuals, 6" - 24" tall. Growing in sand along roadsides and behind dunes. Blooming April to October. These are easily seen flowers of the barrier islands. You’re very likely to see them on the walk to the beach as they grow in the soft sand. They are very prolific but they are escapes from cultivation, though at the northern limit of their range.