Invasive Plant Task Force - James River Park System

Riverside Meadow Study Area

Riverside Meadow Study Area Map

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Study area summary

The Riverside Meadow study area includes approximately 1.81 acres of park land and was divided into two smaller management units.  The lead organization for the baseline study of this park section was the Riverine Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. The task force field team identified a total of 12 invasive plant species across all management units, including:

  • 7 species ranked with high invasiveness; and,
  • 5 species ranked with medium invasiveness.

The most prevalent invasive plants within the two Riverside Meadows management units were mimosa, Amur honeysuckle, Chinese lespedeza, winter creeper, and Japanese honeysuckle. Of these, mimosa and Japanese honeysuckle had the highest levels of abundance, ranging from 50 to 75 percent cover (Cover Class 4). Chinese lespedeza, Amur honeysuckle, winter creeper, and kudzu were also dominant in one or more management unit; therefore, the overall abundance of the invasive plant population in each management unit was recorded between 50 and 75 percent cover (Cover Class 4). 

Aside from the species mentioned above, other important results include the identification of English ivy, Japanese hop, and kudzu. While these species were not always dominant within the plant community, their tendency to grow with high invasiveness is likely to lead to increased infestation. In addition, the highly invasive grass species Japanese stiltgrass was also found in Management Unit 1. While the percent cover of stiltgrass was low, this species should be targeted during Stage 3 treatment activities to help prevent future reproduction.

Task force observations regarding the native plant community within the Riverside Meadow study area included tree species such as post oak, loblolly pine, American holly, willow oak (Quercus phellos), river birch (Betula nigra), white oak, tulip tree, black willow (Salix nigra), eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), northern red oak, flowering dogwood, sassafras (Sassafras albidum), American sycamore, paw paw, and sweet gum. Other native plants include herbs and vines such as blackberry (Rubus argutus), joe pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum), partridge pea, pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Virginia creeper, goldenrod (Solidago sp.), wingstem, boneset, muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia), greenbrier (Smilax rotundifolia), trumpet creeper, and poison ivy.

» Phase One Baseline Study Data Summary (PDF)

Updates from the study area

None at this time.