Invalid Unit Specified
Group Detail Report: G187
Rhynchospora spp. - Sarracenia spp. Seep Group

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This wet, fire-maintained, herbaceous seepage vegetation is dominated by Rhynchospora spp. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators, and other graminoids include Andropogon glomeratus, Aristida beyrichiana, Aristida stricta, Calamovilfa brevipilis, and Ctenium aromaticum. A variety of showy forbs, insectivorous plants, and ferns such as Osmunda cinnamomea, and Osmunda regalis also occur in these rare southern coastal plain seepage wetlands.
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Translated Name:Beaksedge species - Pitcherplant species Seep Group
Colloquial Name:Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Seep
This group includes wet, fire-maintained, herbaceous seepage vegetation in the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains, from the North Carolina sandhills, extending to northern Florida and to eastern Texas. These oligotrophic (nutrient-poor) wetlands are generally found on moderate to gentle, or almost imperceptible slopes maintained by constant seepage zones such as perched water tables. Examples are typically Rhynchospora spp.-dominated and are often species-rich. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators. Shrubs frequently encroach in the absence of frequent fire (every 2-5 years). Due to greater topographic isolation, the most interior examples are often naturally shrubbier.
This group occurs on seepage wetlands, generally with some slope. Rhynchospora spp. and Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators.
Rhynchospora spp. are usually dominant, and Sarracenia spp. are characteristic of this group.
Vegetation Hierarchy
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 2 Shrub & Herb Vegetation C02 2
Subclass 2.C Shrub & Herb Wetland S44 2.C
Formation 2.C.4 Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland F013 2.C.4
Division 2.C.4.Ne Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland D322 2.C.4.Ne
Macrogroup M067 Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh M067 2.C.4.Ne.2
Group G187 Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Seep G187 2.C.4.Ne.2.e
Alliance A1463 Coastal Plain Hillside Seep A1463
Alliance A3375 Cinnamon Fern - Mixed Seep A3375
This group occurs on seepage wetlands, generally with some slope. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators. Due to greater topographic isolation, the most interior examples are often naturally shrubbier. Floristically, this group may overlap with Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Pondshore & Wet Prairie Group (G111), which occurs in depressions and on poorly drained wet flats. These two groups are separated based on hydrogeomorphic factors, and a better understanding of the floristic similarities and differences is needed. Ilex coriacea - Ilex glabra - Kalmia latifolia Hillside Seepage Shrub Bog Alliance (A3442) could be moved from Southeastern Coastal Pocosin & Shrub Bog Group (G186) here to G187; it would fit under G187 to accommodate vegetation of these sites which has not burned as frequently and is shrub-dominated. The vegetation of G186 is all shrub-dominated but (except for A3442) occurs on flats and depressions (site environmental, HGM wetland types).
Synonomy: >< Gulf Coast pitcher plant bog (Folkerts 1982)
? Herb bogs (pitcher plant bogs) (Wharton 1978)
= Seepage Slope (FNAI 2010a)
= Seepage Slope (FNAI 1990)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Bridges and Orzell 1989a
  • Clewell 1981
  • Drewa et al. 2002b
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • FNAI 1990
  • FNAI 2010a
  • Folkerts 1982
  • Kindell et al. 1997
  • Wharton 1978
States/Provinces:AL, AR?, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX
Range:This group occurs from east-central North Carolina to central Georgia, primarily in the Fall-line Sandhills region but occasionally occurring in the Outer Coastal Plain. It extends into the northern Gulf of Mexico region, across northern Florida, in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and extending across the Gulf Coastal Plain west of the Mississippi River where it is documented in eastern Texas, western Louisiana, and adjacent areas of southern Arkansas.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
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This is an herbaceous wetland group, with Rhynchospora spp. usually dominant. Other graminoid and herbaceous plants are also important. Low shrubs may be mixed in, and tall shrubs are more noticeable on these sites in the absence of frequent fire (2-5 year intervals).
Examples are typically grass- and sedge-dominated and are often species-rich. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators of many community types in this group. Rhynchospora spp. are dominant or codominant in many examples. The herbs are primarily species shared with wet prairies or savannas, such as Andropogon glomeratus, Aristida beyrichiana, Aristida stricta, Calamovilfa brevipilis, Ctenium aromaticum, and a variety of showy forbs and insectivorous plants. Large wetland ferns such as Osmunda cinnamomea, and Osmunda regalis also often dominate. Shrubs (e.g., Cyrilla racemiflora, Ilex coriacea, Ilex glabra, Lyonia lucida) frequently encroach in the absence of fire. Scattered tall shrubs or trees of Magnolia virginiana, Persea palustris, Pinus elliottii var. elliottii, Pinus palustris, Pinus serotina, and/or Toxicodendron vernix may be present even in well-burned examples.
Climate: Humid warm temperate. Soil/substrate/hydrology: This oligotrophic wetland is maintained by seepage at the zone between an overlaying, permeable sandy layer and a lower layer of relatively impermeable material such as sandstone or clay. Sites are seasonally to permanently saturated with seeping groundwater. Kindell et al. (1997) document examples for the Leefield, Albany, Pactolus, Pamlico, Rutledge, and Pansey soil series. Clewell (1981) describes these bogs as commonly occurring between bay swamps and pine flatwoods. Atmore, Myatt, Pansy, Plummer and Rains soil series are listed for these seepage wetlands in the Gulf Coast between the Tangipahoa River and the Apalachicola River (Folkerts 1982).
Frequent fires are essential to control invasion by wetland shrubs, although the wettest areas may persist in an herbaceous-dominated condition without fire. However, fire may also be necessary to stimulate growth, flowering and seed production of many herbaceous species found in communities of this group. In the absence of fire, these bogs may become heavily wooded, resulting in the eventual elimination of the bog (Folkerts 1982). Increased development of woody species suppresses herbaceous species and potentially produces some drying due to the transpiration of larger volumes of water.
65:C, 65f:C, 65g:C, 65h:C, 65o:C, 75:C, 75a:C, 75f:C
C.W. Nordman      Version Date: 13May2015

  • Bridges, E. L., and S. L. Orzell. 1989a. Longleaf pine communities of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Natural Areas Journal 9:246-263.
  • Clewell, A. F. 1981. Natural setting and vegetation of the Florida Panhandle: An account of the environments and plant communities of northern Florida west of the Suwannee River. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mobile, AL. 773 pp.
  • Drewa, P. B., W. J. Platt, and E. B. Moser. 2002b. Community structure along elevation gradients in headwater regions of longleaf pine savannas. Plant Ecology 160(1):61-78.
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, S. Gawler, M. Hall, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, K. Schulz, J. Teague, M. Russo, K. Snow, and P. Comer, editors. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1990. Guide to the natural communities of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory and Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee. 111 pp.
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Folkerts, G. W. 1982. The Gulf Coast pitcher plant bogs. American Scientist 70:260-267.
  • Kindell, C. E., B. J. Herring, C. Nordman, J. Jensen, A. R. Schotz, and L. G. Chafin. 1997. Natural community survey of Eglin Air Force Base, 1993-1996: Final report. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 123 pp. plus appendix.
  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.

USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

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The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee (hereafter called the FGDC) is tasked to develop geospatial data standards that will enable sharing of spatial data among producers and users and support the growing National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), acting under the Office of Management Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 (OMB 1990, 2000) and Executive Order #12906 (Clinton 1994) as amended by Executive Order #13286 (Bush 2003). FGDC subcommittees and working groups, in consultation and cooperation with state, local, tribal, private, academic, and international communities, develop standards for the content, quality, and transferability of geospatial data. FGDC standards are developed through a structured process, integrated with one another to the extent possible, supportable by the current vendor community (but are independent of specific technologies), and publicly available.

About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Group level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

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  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
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Non U.S. Government
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Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. []

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber-
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (