New field guide identifies Delaware wetland plants
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program has released Delaware’s first wetland-specific plant identification book – The Delaware Wetland Plant Field Guide. This guide will help landowners, practitioners, and scientists identify wetland plants in the landscape with full-color photos, hand drawings and easy-to-read descriptions.
Plants are one of three key factors for identifying and delineating wetlands. In order for an area to be considered a wetland, it must have: water at or near the surface for some part of the year; hydrophytic plants, which are plants specially adapted to living in wet conditions; and hydric soils, which are soils that are permanently or seasonally soaked in water.
The guide organizes 134 of the most common wetland plants found in Delaware into two main categories of freshwater and saltwater plants. It also includes a general introduction to plant identification and key characteristics, bloom/fruit timing, flower and fruit descriptions, and where people are likely to find each plant.
The Delaware Wetland Plant Field Guide was compiled by the Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program in DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, with contributions from several local wetland and plant experts. The program works in Delaware to conserve wetlands for their water quality, wildlife habitat and flood-control benefits. For more information about the program, go to www.de.gov/wmap.