Cape May is not overly well blessed with plants, though for its size it does reasonably well. For the botanist, a lack of altitudinal range is the first problem, coupled with the inaccessibility of much of the county's wet woodlands. However, on the flip side, this inaccessibility does mean that some species have survived untouched by the hand of development for longer than might be expected. There has been a long history of human land use and development in Cape May County - particularly in the south - and this has resulted in a high percentage of non-native plant species that have been introduced to the region. Like them or loathe them, these species are now an important part of the wider landscape, yet are ignored by a number of identification guides. All such species are included here as we believe it is important to be able to identify things correctly.

Most people identify plants by their flowers, so as a first step, we have divided plants into groups by flower color. Some species may have flowers of different colors, flowers that contain more than one color, or flowers that are borderline between two categories (pinkish white for example). These species will be found in more than one section. Also, the trees and shrubs section identifies plants mostly by their twigs/branches, leaves and fruits. However, trees and shrubs with showy flowers may also be identified by their flowers using the color sections.

Click on the pictures below to go to the group that you are interested in.
(For a list of all plant species on the site, click here)

Northern White Colicroot Partridge-pea Clasping Venus's Looking-glass Common Milkweed




Jack-in-the-pulpit American White Oak Foxtail Barley Cinnamon Fern
Trees, shrubs
& vines
Grasses, sedges &
Ferns, clubmosses
& allies