Riparian Plants


We’re building a plant guide

We feature a few riparian plants each month in our newsletter and will add them to this page as well. If you have any information that you’d like to share about the featured plants, such as tips, experiences, or pictures, reach out to us. We may be able to use your insights as the Consortium develops a riparian plant guide. 


Arisaema triphyllum

  • Grows from a short, underground plant stem
  • Between 12 – 26 inches tall
  • Three-part leaves
  • The “pulpit” (spathe) wraps around the “Jack” (spadix)
  • Spadix with tiny flowers forms berries in late summer or fall
  • Pollinated by flies

See page 1 of the Plants of the James River coloring book


Cornus species

  • Petals are leaf bracts
  • True flower is yellow part in center
  • State flower of Virginia
  • Bright red fruit eaten by birds
  • Pollinated by bees

See page 2 of the Plants of the James River coloring book


Cephalanthus occidentalis

  • Wildflower of the year, 2022
  • Shrub or small tree commonly attaining heights up to about 6 m, occasionally twice that size.
  • Flowers are borne in densely crowded globose heads, 2-3.5 cm in diameter, located at the ends of stems and from leaf axils near stem tips
  • Flowers may be found through the summer, but are most abundant in June and July.

Read more about Buttonbush at the Virginia Native Plant Society’s website.