Uncommon Trees and Shrubs

Moss plant, purple mountain heather. Photos by Jerry Jenkins

The Northern Forest Region contains about 265 species of woody plants. About a third, the generalists, are common in much or all of the region. Another third, the ecological specialists, are common but only in the right places. The remaining third, the outliers, are truly uncommon. They are plants that belong somewhere else – the cork elm in the Mississippi Valley, the moss plant in the tundra – and barely reach our area.

Here are nineteen specialists and outliers. They are favorites, because I don’t see them often, and because they remind me of travel and special places and people. We have photographs of these, and many others here. And we have a guide book, the Woody Plants of the Northern Forest, available from Cornell University Press.

Limy barrens and shores near the Great Lakes

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Cork elm

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Ninebark

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Fragrant sumac

Fertile northern wetlands

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Mountain fly honeysuckle

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Shining rose

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Balsam willow

Warm, dry, limy woods

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Mockernut hickory

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Red mulberry

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Chinaquin oak

Alpine tundra

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Lapland rosebay

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Alpine azalea

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Moss plant, purple mountain heather

Northern rocky coast

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Green alder

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Black crowberry

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Dwarf huckleberry

Sandy coast

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Groundsel bush

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Marsh elder

Uncommon Trees and Shrubs Image

Atlantic white cedar

 
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