Silver Maple Floodplain Forest (Piedmont-Central Appalachian)

This natural community, which occurs on broad floodplains of large rivers, is dominated by silver maple and box-elder. (There is more than one type of Silver Maple Floodplain Forest; this one is found in the Piedmont and the Central Appalachian mountains.) 

The Silver Maple Floodplain Forest is found on floodplains of major mid-Atlantic rivers, including the Potomac, Shenandoah, James, Rappahannock, Monocacy, and Susquehanna.

The range map shows the states in which this natural community has been documented.

More About This Natural Community

Silver maple and box-elder are the most numerous trees in this community. Other trees include eastern cottonwood, common hackberry, green ash, American elm, and black walnut. The shrub layer is usually dominated by northern spicebush. Eastern poison-ivy and Virginia creeper are common. Among the low plants, look for pale jewelweed, wingstem, and white snakeroot

The Silver Maple Floodplain Forest is found on the floodplains of large rivers, and may be flooded annually or less often. Floods bring in nutrients and minerals from upstream, creating a rich and fertile soil.

For a more in-depth look at this community, click on a link under “Where to Explore It.”

Look for It in These National Parks

  • Appalachian Trail (Central Appalachians)
  • Appalachian Trail (Lower New England & Northern Appalachians)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
  • Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
  • George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Monocacy National Battlefield
  • National Capital Parks – East

Conservation Status

How vulnerable is a natural community? Is it at risk of elimination? Learn about conservation status.

Global Conservation Status: 
G4 – Apparently Secure


Official names reduce confusion by providing a common language for talking about natural communities. Why so many names?

Common Name: 
Silver Maple Floodplain Forest (Piedmont-Central Appalachian)
Scientific Name Translated: 
Silver Maple - Box-elder / White Snakeroot - Canadian Woodnettle - (Virginia Wildrye) Floodplain Forest
Classification Code: