Cumberland Plateau/Ridge & Valley Acidic Seepage Wetlands
Seepage wetland form in shallow swales, in depressions, and near streamheads, usually on the sandstone caps of ridges and plateaus, although they can also be found seeping from shale in some places. They occur where water flows slowly out of joints, or at the base of steep slopes.
Indicator species: royal fern, cinnamon fern, jack-in-the-pulpit, soapwort gentian, southern wild raisin.
What's special: Often these communities are openings in forests, where the swaths of ferns form a lush contrast to the drier forests they're embedded within Where fire is more common, seeps can be sunny, with an array of wildflowers, including the beautiful monkey-face orchid. These wetlands are important for amphibians.
Photo by Hugh & Carol Nourse
Photos by Jay Pakchar, Hugh & Carol Nourse, or Richard & Teresa Ware. Click to expand images
Click on a plant name to see many detailed images from comprehensive regional websites. The plant names are in alphabetical order by scientific name.
Red Maple Acer rubrum
American holly Ilex opaca
Sweet gum Liquidambar styraciflua
Tulip-tree/Tulip poplar Liriodendron tulipifera
Black gum Nyssa sylvatica
Shrubs and Woody Vines
Tag alder Alnus serrulata
Black chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa
Cross-vine Bignonia capreolata
Silky dogwood/Swamp dogwood Cornus amomum
Climbing hydrangea Decumaria barbara
Winterberry Ilex verticillata
Virginia willow Itea virginica
Mountain laurel - Kalmia latifolia
Catawba rhododendron - Rhododendron catawbiense
Swamp dewberry Rubus hispidus
Common elderberry Sambucus canadensis
Smooth highbush blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum
Southern wild raisin Viburnum nudum
Jack-in-the-pulpit Arisaema triphyllum
White turtlehead Chelone glabra
Water hemlock Cicuta maculata
Hollow-stem Joe-pye-weed Eutrochium fistulosum
Soapwort gentian Gentiana saponaria
Orange jewelweed Impatiens capensis
Cardinal flower Lobelia cardinalis
Indian cucumber-root Medeola virginiana
Cowbane Oxypolis rigidior
Platanthera integrilabia Monkey-face orchid
Helmet skullcap Scutellaria integrifolia
Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia
Tassel-rue Trautvetteria caroliniensis
Primrose-leaf violet Viola primulifolia
Sedges Carex spp.
Rushes Juncus spp.
Southern lady fern Athyrium asplenoides
Sensitive fern/Bead fern Onoclea sensibilis
Royal fern Osmunda spectabilis
Cinnamon fern Osmundastrum cinnamomeum
New York fern Thelypteris noveboracensis
Netted chain fern Lorinseria areolata/Woodwardia areolata
Peat moss - Sphagnum spp.
Ground layer, in order by color