Wetland Plant Field Guide

Plants are a key factor for identifying wetlands. The Delaware Wetland Plant Field Guide aims to make distinguishing wetlands easier by providing a transportable plant guide for use by the public, scientists, and practitioners alike.

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Alison Rogerson
Watershed Assessment

What is a Wetland?

In order for an area to be a wetland, it must have three characteristics:

Water at or near the surface for some part of the year

Hydrophytic plants, which are specially adapted to living in wet conditions

Hydric soils, which are soils that are permanently or seasonally soaked in water, resulting in oxygen deprivation

If water is on the area of interest for at least some part of the year, the next step in determining if you’re in a wetland is to take a look at the plants. Learning to identify plants in your yard is the first step in fostering a long and healthy relationship with the wetlands in your life.

The Field Guide

The Delaware Wetland Plant Field Guide organizes 134 of the most common wetland plants found in Delaware into two main categories — freshwater and saltwater plants. It also includes a general introduction to plant identification, color photos, drawings, and easy-to-read descriptions.

This Delaware Wetland Plant Field Guide was compiled by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program. The program works in Delaware to conserve wetlands for their water quality, wildlife habitat, and flood control benefits.


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