Natural Communities of NH -- Photo Guide

Northern white cedar - hemlock swamp  (S2)

Northern white cedar - hemlock swamp
is a rare community found only in the Saco River watershed south of the White Mountains. In addition to northern white cedar, it is characterized by abundant hemlock, red maple, numerous seepage indicators, and other plants that are absent or sparse in cedar swamps north of the White Mountains. It occurs on poorly to very poorly drained soils, in moderately small tributary headwater basins where groundwater seepage influences the local hydrology.

Characteristic Vegetation: Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is dominant and hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and red maple (Acer rubrum) are abundant. Species present that are essentially absent from other northern white cedar communities include partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), white ash (Fraxinus americana), trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens), and witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). Other common species include balsam fir (Abies balsamea), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), twinflower (Linnaea borealis), false violet (Rubus dalibarda), long beech fern (Phegopteris connectilis), cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), ragged-fringed orchid (Platanthera lacera), and white turtlehead (Chelone glabra). One example contains the rare sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus var. palmatus).

Good examples
occur in the vicinity of White Horse Ledge (Albany).

Northern white cedar - hemlock swamps often occur as part of near-boreal minerotrophic peat swamp systems.

(no photo available)


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