A Floristic Checklist of Shenandoah River State Park Warren Co., Virginia


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A floristic checklist of vascular plants was conducted at Shenandoah River State Park (SHSP) in Bentonville, Virginia during the 2021 and 2022 growing seasons. SHSP encompasses 665 hectares (1619 acres) of the northern Shenandoah Valley between the Massanutten Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. The park lies in Warren County which has been botanically underexplored, consistently ranking last in plant collection metrics among the five northern Shenandoah Valley counties. SHSP contains 11 community types that span 165 – 296 masl from inland wetlands and river scour communities to upland forests, including endemic Central Appalachian Shale Barrens. A total of 797 collections yielded 536 unique taxa from 109 vascular plant families. These collections were secondarily extended with in-field pictures that were aggregated on an iNaturalist project page. Quick Response (QR) codes were used to link herbarium vouchers to their respective iNaturalist entry. Sixty-four county records of taxa not yet observed in Warren County and one state record, Equisetum laevigatum A. Braun were documented. As a first for SHSP, this floristic checklist provides baseline botanical knowledge of the park and expands the available digital data of vascular plants for Warren County by 20%. This augmented knowledge, in tandem with the accompanying iNaturalist project page, will not only be useful to park managers for future development and conservation plans but will also serve as a tool for community scientists to enhance their knowledge of the local flora.