NC Native Plant Society:
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Bald Head Island

Sponsored by the Southeast Coast chapter

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dr. Paul Hosier leads the group at Bald Head Island

Dr. Hosier explains barrier island dynamics at Bald Head Island with his portable classroom

Dr. Hosier explains dune stabilization

Ammophila breviligulata

American beachgrass

planted to stabilize the dunes although not native to this area

Chamaesyce polygonifolia

northern seaside spurge

close-up showing sand grains burying C.polygonifolia

Making our way across the dune

Uniola paniculata, sea oats, swaying in the breeze

Dune "cross section"

Dune showing depth of sea oat's roots and the cross layers of sand blown in from different directions

Hydrocotyle bonariensis

seaside pennywort in fruit

flower keeps elongating to produce new umbels

Passiflora lutea

yellow passion flower

Croton punctatus

silver leaf croton

Trichostema dichotomum

blue curls

Commelina erecta


Exploring the back dunes

washover fan

shells get dumped by a washover and form a desert pavement, a hard surface that prevents further sand movement

Triplasis Purpurea

purple sandgrass

Field notes

Opuntia humifusa

eastern prickly pear cactus

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis

Hercules' club; toothache-tree

larval plant for giant swallowtail

Chamaesyce bombensis

southern seaside spurge

C. polygonifolia usually grows closer to water

Persea borbonia

growth is forced in the downwind direction due to the killing effect of the salt spray

Geastrum sp.

earth star mushroom

Setaria magna

Giant foxtail grass

The Maritime Forest

Baccharis halimifolia


Ilex vomitoria

yaupon holly

Juniperus virginiana

red cedar (southern var.)

Toxicodendron radicans

don't touch!

also some Smilax and Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Quercus virginiana

live oak

Osmanthus americanus

wild olive; devilwood

The Salt Marsh

you can see Pluchea and Salicornia in the foreground (if you look closely)

Pluchea odorata

southern saltmarsh fleabane

Salicornia virginica


Taking a break in the shade

Sabal palmetto

cabbage palmetto

Marsh grasses

Distichlis spicata (salt grass) along with Spartina alterniflora and Juncus sp. are found in the salt water marsh

Sesuvium maritimum

slender seapurslane

Wading through the marsh

Sabatia stellaris

marsh pink

Cynanchum angustifolium, also C. palustre

sand-vine, gulf coast milkvine, gulf coast swallowort, vine milkweed (belongs to milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae)

a tangle of Cynanchum

Pityopsis sp.

Diodia sp.

buttonweed, probably D. teres

Cyperus strigosus


Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible, especially Dr. Paul Hosier of UNCW and Maureen Dewire, BHIC Director of Education, and everyone at the Bald Head Island Conservancy!
See you next time :-)

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