How to Recognize It
A very few scattered, small patches of the Red Maple Seepage Swamp are found at Rock Creek Park in shallow, mucky depressions fed by groundwater at the base of hills and along floodplains. In spring and early summer, you can’t miss the striking display of skunk-cabbage. At other times of the year, without the characteristic skunk-cabbage, this natural community may be hard to find. The rest of the wetlands in the park are part of the Tuliptree Small-Stream Floodplain Forest.
Can you find this combination of key features?
Identifying This Natural Community
- Huge patch of low-growing skunk-cabbage (visible late winter to mid-summer)
- Red maple or green ash trees
- (Optional) tuliptree
- Cinnamon fern or sensitive fern
- (Optional) swamp azalea or orange jewelweed
- Mucky soils year round (especially wet in spring)
- Located in slight depression
If so, welcome to Rock Creek Park’s Red Maple Seepage Swamp!
Not sure? Check out the Tips to Distinguish (below), or try the Compare Communities tool.