Three Ridges Flora and Fauna

Vascular Flora of Three Ridges Mountain


Three Ridges Mountain is located in the southwest portion of Nelson County, Virginia, on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mountain as a natural unit encompasses approximately twenty square miles of land ranging from 850 to 3970 feet in elevation. Collecting trips were made at approximately weekly intervals from March through mid October 1976. Less extensive collecting was done in late October 1976 and the early spring of 1977. A total of 571 species representing 342 genera of 97 families of vascular plants were collected, dried, and identified. Two hundred seventy three species constitute new county records, and one species has not been previously record as occurring in the state of Virginia. A complete set of voucher specimens has been deposited in the Herbarium of the College of William and Mary.

Background information is provided on the area’s location, geology, climate, soils, and vegetation. A brief quantitative survey (using the Bitterlich Method) was made in seven stand representing seven different community types present (northern red oak, white oak, northern hardwoods, chestnut oak, moist cove, dry cove, and successional forests). Brief qualitative descriptions are included for more restricted and/or unusual habitats.

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