Maritime Shrub Community

Habitat: Maritime Shrub Community
Maritime Shrub on Pea Island by Cindy Heffley

 The Maritime Shrub community occurs in a wide range of conditions from excessively to poorly drained soils in areas protected from salt spray and flooding by salt water. These conditions may occur on stabilized sand ridges, in dune swales, and on sand flats. Depending upon successional stage, there may be substantial variation in the plant community. In earlier successional stages it has a dense growth of shrubs, mostly wax myrtle, red cedar, Southern red cedar, saltmeadow bush or groundsel tree, yaupon holly, greenbrier, blackberry, and poison ivy. Stunted live oak dominates older communities. Artificial dune construction increases protection from overwash on sand flats and from salt spray, allowing shrubs to invade. The prevalence of shrubby, woody plant species distinguishes this community from maritime grasslands and dune grass communities. The relatively low canopy and a lower occurrence of live oak distinguish it from the maritime evergreen forest community. This community provides important habitat for songbirds and rabbits.

Facts About Maritime Shrub Community

Typical Plants:


  • wax myrtle
  • red cedar
  • southern red cedar
  • saltmeadow bush
  • groundsel tree
  • yaupon holly
  • greenbrier
  • blackberry
  • poison ivy
  • live oak