Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plant Fact Sheets

Sweet-scented Indian-plantain

photo of flood plain along Potomac River  

photo of Sweet-scented Indian-plantain  

Sweet-scented Indian-plantain, Senecio suaveolens
Potomac River Floodplain
Photograph by R.H. Wiegand

The fertile floodplain of the Potomac River is a productive habitat where native plants are under assault from an invasion of non-native species.

Studies by the Maryland Natural Heritage Program found that plants from outside the United States comprise most of the ground cover at most places on the floodplain. These non-native plants take advantage of soil disturbance caused by floods and human activities, crowding out native species such as Virginia Bluebells.

Some portions of the floodplain, often those buffered by a large area of forest, still retain a mostly native plant community. Sweet-scented Indian-plantain, Senecio suaveolens, State Endangered, is among the Potomac floodplain natives threatened by invasive, non-native plants. It has a grooved stem and halberd-shaped leaves, and blooms in late summer.