Physical Setting

Area Occupied: 3.0 acres (1.2 hectares)
Stand Size:

Very small isolated patches; uncommon in Rock Creek Park

Landscape Position:

Groundwater-fed depressions at the base of hills and along floodplains


Mucky, fertile soils influenced by groundwater



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Rock Creek Park

The Red Maple Seepage Swamp is found in seeps—areas of groundwater discharge—that have the potential to keep soils wet year around. These seeps can be found at the concave base of some hills, or on the floodplain terrace of Rock Creek or its tributaries. The amount of saturation varies from one point in a seepage swamp to another, due to water drainage patterns and small changes in elevation. Low areas in the swamp are usually characterized by wet muck (highly decomposed plant matter) over saturated mineral soils of variable pH.

Ecobit: Skunk Cabbage and Groundwater: a Unique and Timeless Relationship