Completed Atlas Pages

Zostera marina L.- Eelgrass

Order:  Alismatales

Family: Zosteraceae

Zostera marina L.

Synonymy: Zostera marina L. var. latifolia Morong;  Zostera marina L. var. stenophylla Asch. & Graebn

Lower Taxa: none

Origin: Native

Habit: True marine aquatic vascular plant

Habitat: Coastal back bays, Barnegat to Cape May

Range: NJ’s Atlantic Coast counties; declining

Frequency: Infrequent, formerly widely dispersed in all coastal bays, today restricted to Barnegat, Little Egg, Manahawkin and Little Bays

Rank/Status: S3-4/G5

Wetland Status: OBL

Flowering & Reproduction: Flowering within closed spath on branched stems under water when ever waters warm.

Comments: Zostera marina, also known as eelgrass, is found in shallow marine waters between New Jersey Coastal County mainland and barrier islands.  Once present from Monmouth County south to Cape May, it is today restricted to Atlantic and Ocean counties due to boat traffic and eutrophication. Fernald determined Northeastern North American specimens belonged to the variety stenophylla because of the strongly nerved leaves.

Reference Specimen: (to be provided); graphic (below) is from the orginal B&B line drawings

J.R. Arsenault, 3/2012

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