University of Rhode Island

Home | Help | About the Guide

Dr. Susan Gordon and Dr. Brian Maynard

URI Department of Plant Sciences

Gabrielle Torphy, David Hughes and Kate Venturini

URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) Outreach Center

Caitlin Chaffee

RI Coastal Resources Management Council

Brand, M. 2001. UConn Plant Database. University of Connecticut.

Chase-Rowell, Lauren, et al. 2007. Integrated Landscaping: Following Nature's Lead. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and NH Fish and Game Department.

Clark, R. 2001. "Selection and maintenance of Plant Materials for Coastal Landscapes." University of Massachusetts Extension.

Cullina, William. 2002. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. New England Wild Flower Society. Boston.

Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, 5th ed. University of Georgia. Stipes Publishing, L.L.C. Chicago.

Enser, R. and J.A. Lundgren. 2005. Natural Communities of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural Heritage Program, Department of Environmental Management and the Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Providence, RI.

Halvorson, W.L. ad R.E. Koske. 1988. Coastal Dunes. In: R.G. Sheath and M.M. Harlin (eds). Freshwater and Marine Plants of Rhode Island. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, IA.

Hightshoe, Gary L. 1988. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York.

Maynard, B.K., R. Casagrande, M. Gold, S. Livingston and S. Gordon. 1999. Sustainable Trees and Shrubs, 3rd ed. URI Cooperative Extension, Landscape Horticulture.

Smith, Susan B., Kathleen H. McPherson, Jeffrey M. Backer, Barbara J. Pierce, David W. Podlesak, Scott R. McWilliams. "Fruit quality and consumption by songbirds during autumn migration". The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119(3):419–428, 2007.

USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database (, 21 November 2006). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Karen Beck, Landscape Architect, Commonwealth Engineers and Consultants, Inc.

Roberta Clark, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension

Lisa Gould, Rhode Island Natural History Survey

Wenley Ferguson, Save the Bay

Bryan Harrison, URI Coastal Fellow (CELS Outreach Center)

The plant palette for coastal sites is as diverse as the coast itself. This list was developed by the University of Rhode Island CELS Outreach Center with funding and support from the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. It is intended to serve as a reference for individuals involved in the design and management of coastal landscapes. The plants on this list have been selected for their ability to tolerate conditions found in coastal areas, such as sandy soils, wind and salt spray. Many of the plants on this list are well-known and currently in production, while others can be difficult to find through local growers and distributors. It is hoped that the use of this list will increase demand for coastally-appropriate, non-invasive plants and encourage their growth and distribution.

Before altering a naturally vegetated area near a coastal feature or freshwater wetland, be aware that permits are required for certain activities in coastal areas and near freshwater wetlands. These activities include, but are not limited to landscaping, removal of invasive species, thinning of undergrowth and brush, and clearing to create shoreline access paths. Maintaining areas that have historically been in a landscaped or lawn condition does not require a permit. If you are unsure whether your planned activity requires a permit, see CRMC’s Buffer Zone and Invasive Plant Management Guidance, or contact CRMC (Oliver Stedman Government Center, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879, 401-783-3370).

Questions About This List?

Contact Caitlin Chaffee at 401-439-7198 or Kate Venturini at 401-874-4096


(Back to Coastal Plant Guide)


College of the Environment and Life Sciences
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881 | Phone: 401-874-1000
      Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Disclaimer | Web feedback
      URI is an equal opportunity employer committed to the principles of affirmative action.