Overview of Shrubs
Twenty-five species of shrubs, encompassing seventeen shrub families,
have been identified since the 2010.
The goal of the research conducted during the 2010 growing season
was to obtain an accurate inventory of shrubs currently inhabitating
Sky Meadows State Park. This information provided an initial "base-
line" for subsequent additional field research. Direct field observation
was obtained for each identified shrub species. It is anticipated that add-
itional species may be identified during future research.
Information for shrub species was obtained from a variety of sources.
The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) provided the "core" data-
base for most species information as well as general entry structure.
Additional information from other sources has been "integrated" with
the FEIS. Other primary information sources include:
USDA Forest Service
FDGIF (Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries)
Illinois Wildflowers (John Hilty)
VDF (Virginia Department of Forestry)
Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental
California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations - A
...Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology (Michael L.
The general information format used by the Fire Effects Information
System (see "Databases" section of website for discussion of FEIS) is
used for most shrub entries. Some modifcations in structure have been
employed. The following is a delineation of the modified FEIS format.
CITATION: The common shrub name(s) followed by the current scien-
COMMON NAMES: List of generally accepted common names.
SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS: Partial list of previously used scientific
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Three category status of confirmation -
not confirmed, pending confirmation, and confirmed. Not confirmed is
assigned to a species that is known to occur in the region, but has not
been observed in Sky Meadow Park. Pending confirmation is assigned
to a species that has been observed in Sky Meadows Park but still needs
identification by a recognized authority. Confirmed is assigned to a species
that has both been observed in Sky Meadows Park and has been identified
by a recognized authority.
TAXONOMY: Current taxonomic classification with discussion of varities
or subspecies, as well as hybridization characteristics.
NATIVE STATUS: Includes information pertaining to whether the shrub is
native or introduced as it occurs in the United States and Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Includes information
describing basic botanical characteristics (e.g., form, leaves, fruit, etc.). REGENERATION PROCESSES: Regeneration from vegetative parts
and from seed.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Includes information on topography, soil
types and elevations where species occurs.
SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Includes information on shade tolerance,
occurrences as pioneer and/or persistent species.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Flowering and fruiting dates.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: The general North American (United
States and Canada) distrubution of shrub species.
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION: Distribution of shrub species within
Sky Meadows State Park; listed by trails and other locations.
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES: General habitat types
with emphasis on associated plant species.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: Importance of shrub species to wildlife and
livestock, value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites, consturuction material
and ornamental use, and any medicinal characteristics.
Overview of Shrubs
The following discussion, from the Iowa Association of Naturalists, offers
a brief, non-technical description of shrubs.
Virginia's shrubs and vines are common in woodlands (especially along
woodland edges and openings where they can receive sunlight), aban-
doned farm sites, pastures, meadows, and many "waste" places where
initial successional plant growth is occurring. By common consensus,
shrubs are defined as usually less than 15 feet tall, although many trees,
especially in deeply shaded, mature forests, can easily be less than 15 feet
Shrubs, trees, and vines are not always easy to differentiate. Although
blackberries and other berry bushes are technically shrubs, people often
say they are "picking berries from the vine." And some vines, such as
poison ivy, may creep along the ground and form dense, shrublike clumps.
Because small trees such as sumacs and chokecherry grow in the vertical
shrub forest layer, they too are often referred to as shrubs, even though
they usually have a single woody stem. Shrubs are identifiable by their
clonal pattern of growth, with several woody stems spreading outward
from a single point.
Description of Shrubs
A shrub (or bush) is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and
shorter height, usually under 5–6 m (15–20 ft) tall. In botany and eco-
logy a shrub is more specifically used to describe the particular physical
structural or plant life-form of woody plants which are less than 8 metres
(26 ft) high and usually have many stems arising at or near the base. A
large number of plants can be either shrubs or trees, depending on the
growing conditions they experience. Small, low shrubs such as lavender,
periwinkle and thyme are often termed subshrubs.
Crooked Run Valley