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Rating System for Restoration Potential

Note: All species listed here have the potential to be restored. Restoration Potential in this context refers to ease of introduction and restoration.

PROVEN PERFORMERS. Most of the in this class species produce abundant seed that is easy to collect, store, and germinate, and have seedlings that grow quickly to produce flowering plants. These species could be used with the highest probability of immediate success in the initial phase of a woodland restoration project and would be the easiest for commercial growers to supply. Examples include Diarrhena americana (American beakgrass), Ranunculus hispidus (hispid buttercup), Solidago flexicaulis (zig zag golden rod) and Asarum canadense (wild ginger). Species in this group may collective form a dense enough ground cover to deter the colonization of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

HIGH restoration potential. These species may be limited in one character, such as number of seeds produced, but have the capacity to establish and reproduce quickly. Examples include James' sedge (Carex jamesii) and Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum). We also recommend these species in the initial phase of a woodland restoration project

MEDIUM restoration potential. Many species are included in this category because they are not easy to propagate from seed and seed availability is severely limited due to small populations, limited seed production per plant, and/or narrow windows of opportunity for seed collection. Examples include woodland phlox, (Phlox divaricata), Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), showy tick trefoil (Desmodium glutinosum), and spring beauty (Claytonia virginica).

LOW restoration potential. These species have a combination of low seed production, seeds that need to be stored moist (and are often subject to deterioration), low germination rates, and are slow-growing, requiring several to many years to reach reproductive maturity. Examples include blue cohosh (Caullophylum thalictroides) pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica), and large flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora).

AVOID! DO NOT INCLUDE IN A RESTORATION EVER. Species in this category have the capacity to displace other species at the restoration site, and even become a near monoculture.

*Species that have not been assigned a rating require further observation and experimentation. If you have experience collecting, storing, and/or propagating these species, please consider contributing to this database by submitting information to Cathy McMullen (