Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina

Wake County

compiled by Will Cook

Native Trees

Scientific Name

Common Names

Freq*

Refº

Notes

Synonyms

 

 

 

 

 

Acer floridanum

Florida Maple, Southern Sugar Maple

fc

rab

Acer barbatum

Acer leucoderme

Chalk Maple

r

rab

Acer saccharum ssp. leucoderme

Acer negundo var. negundo

Boxelder

fc

rab

Acer rubrum var. drummondii

Drummond's Red Maple

r

hyp

Acer drummondii

Acer rubrum var. rubrum

Red Maple

c

per

Acer rubrum var. trilobum

Carolina Red Maple

fc

hyp

Aesculus sylvatica

Painted Buckeye

fc

rab

Alnus serrulata

Hazel Alder, Tag Alder

fc

rab

Amelanchier arborea

Common Serviceberry

u

rab

Amelanchier canadensis

Canadian Serviceberry

o

rab

Aralia spinosa

Devil's-walkingstick

r

rab

Asimina triloba

Pawpaw

fc

rab

Baccharis halimifolia

Eastern Baccharis, Groundseltree

fc

rab

Betula nigra

River Birch

fc

rab

Carpinus caroliniana ssp. caroliniana

American Hornbeam, Ironwood

fc

hyp

Carpinus caroliniana ssp. virginiana

American Hornbeam, Ironwood

u

hyp

Carya carolinae-septentrionalis

Carolina Shagbark Hickory

u

rab

Carya ovata var. australis

Carya cordiformis

Bitternut Hickory

u

rab

Carya glabra

Pignut Hickory

c

rab

Carya ovalis

Red Hickory, Sweet Pignut Hickory

o

rab

Carya glabra var. odorata

Carya ovata

Shagbark Hickory

fc

hyp

Carya pallida

Sand Hickory

r

rab

Carya tomentosa

Mockernut Hickory

c

rab

Carya alba

Castanea pumila

Chinkapin

o

rab

Castanea alnifolia

Celtis laevigata var. laevigata

Sugarberry

c

hyp

Celtis tenuifolia

Dwarf Hackberry

o

rab

Celtis occidentalis var. georgiana

Cercis canadensis var. canadensis

Eastern Redbud

c

rab

Chionanthus virginicus

Fringetree

fc

rab

Cornus alternifolia

Alternate-leaved Dogwood

vr

rab

Cornus florida

Flowering Dogwood

c

rab

Crataegus aprica

Sunny Hawthorn, Yellow Hawthorn

u

hyp

Crataegus flava

Crataegus crus-galli

Cockspur Hawthorn

u

rab

Crataegus flabellata

Fanleaf Hawthorn

o

rab

Crataegus marshallii

Parsley Hawthorn

o

rab

Crataegus uniflora

One-flowered Hawthorn, Dwarf Hawthorn

o

rab

Crataegus viridis

Green Hawthorn

o

hyp

Cyrilla racemiflora

Swamp Titi

r

rab

Diospyros virginiana

Common Persimmon

fc

rab

Fagus grandifolia var. caroliniana

American Beech

c

rab

Fraxinus americana

White Ash

c

rab

Fraxinus caroliniana

Carolina Ash

r

rab

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Green Ash

fc

rab

Fraxinus profunda

Pumpkin Ash

r

rab

Fraxinus tomentosa

Halesia tetraptera var. tetraptera

Mountain Silverbell

vr

rab

Halesia carolina (misapplied)

Hamamelis virginiana

American Witchhazel

u

rab

Ilex decidua

Possumhaw, Deciduous Holly

fc

rab

Ilex montana

Mountain Holly, Mountain Winterberry

o

rab

Ilex ambigua var. montana

Ilex opaca

American Holly

c

rab

Juglans nigra

Black Walnut

u

rab

Juniperus virginiana

Eastern Redcedar

c

rab

Kalmia latifolia

Mountain-laurel

u

rab

Liquidambar styraciflua

Sweetgum

c

rab

Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip-poplar, Yellow-poplar, Tuliptree

c

rab

Magnolia macrophylla

Bigleaf Magnolia

r

rab

Magnolia tripetala

Umbrella-Tree, Umbrella Magnolia

u

rab

Magnolia virginiana

Sweetbay

o

rab

Malus angustifolia

Southern Crabapple

r

hyp

Morella cerifera

Wax Myrtle

u

rab

Myrica cerifera

Morus rubra

Red Mulberry

fc

rab

Nyssa biflora

Swamp Tupelo

r

rab

Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora

Nyssa sylvatica

Blackgum, Black Tupelo

c

hyp

Ostrya virginiana

Hophornbeam

u

rab

Oxydendrum arboreum

Sourwood

c

rab

Pinus echinata

Shortleaf Pine

c

rab

Pinus palustris

Longleaf Pine

r

per

Pinus serotina

Pond Pine

r

rab

Pinus taeda

Loblolly Pine

c

rab

Pinus virginiana

Virginia Pine

u

rab

Platanus occidentalis

American Sycamore

fc

rab

Populus deltoides

Eastern Cottonwood

r

hyp

Populus heterophylla

Swamp Cottonwood

r

rab

Prunus americana

American Plum

u

rab

Prunus angustifolia

Chickasaw Plum

fc

rab

Prunus serotina

Black Cherry

c

rab

Quercus alba

White Oak

c

rab

Quercus bicolor

Swamp White Oak

vr

rab

 

 

Quercus coccinea

Scarlet Oak

fc

rab

Quercus falcata

Southern Red Oak

c

rab

Quercus lyrata

Overcup Oak

u

rab

Quercus margaretta

Sand Post Oak

vr

rab

Quercus marilandica

Blackjack Oak

u

rab

Quercus michauxii

Swamp Chestnut Oak

u

rab

Quercus nigra

Water Oak

fc

rab

Quercus pagoda

Cherrybark Oak

fc

rab

Q. falcata var. pagodaefolia

Quercus phellos

Willow Oak

c

rab

Quercus montana

Chestnut Oak

o

rab

Quercus prinus

Quercus rubra

Northern Red Oak

c

rab

Quercus shumardii

Shumard Oak

fc

per

Quercus stellata

Post Oak

fc

rab

Quercus velutina

Black Oak

c

rab

Rhododendron catawbiense

Catawba Rhododendron

o

rab

Rhus copallinum var. copallinum

Winged Sumac, Shining Sumac

c

rab

Rhus copallina

Rhus glabra

Smooth Sumac

fc

rab

Salix nigra

Black Willow

fc

rab

Sassafras albidum

Sassafras

c

rab

Staphylea trifolia

American Bladdernut

o

rab

Stewartia ovata

Mountain-Camellia

vr

rab

Styrax americanus

American Snowbell

r

rab

Styrax americana

Styrax grandifolius

Bigleaf Snowbell

u

rab

Styrax grandifolia

Symplocos tinctoria

Sweetleaf

r

rab

Taxodium distichum

Baldcypress

r

rab

Tilia americana var. americana

American Basswood

vr

rab

Toxicodendron vernix

Poison Sumac

r

rab

Tsuga canadensis

Eastern Hemlock

vr

rab

Ulmus alata

Winged Elm

c

rab

Ulmus americana

American Elm

u

rab

Ulmus rubra

Slippery Elm

fc

rab

Vaccinium arboreum

Sparkleberry, Farkleberry

u

rab

Viburnum nudum

Possumhaw Viburnum

o

rab

Viburnum prunifolium

Blackhaw

fc

rab

Viburnum rufidulum

Rusty Blackhaw

u

rab

 

 

 

 

Naturalized Trees

Scientific Name

Common Names

Freq*

Refº

Notes

Synonyms

Ailanthus altissima

Tree-of-heaven

c

rab

Native: China

Albizia julibrissin

Silktree Mimosa

c

rab

Native: Asia

Broussonetia papyrifera

Paper-mulberry

o

rab

Native: China

Carya illinoinensis

Pecan

r

rab

Native: Central USA

Carya illinoensis

Catalpa bignonioides

Southern Catalpa

o

rab

Native: South-central USA

Gleditsia triacanthos

Honeylocust

u

rab

Native: Central USA

Hovenia dulcis

Japanese Raisintree

vr

rab

Native: China, Japan, Korea

Ilex cornuta

Chinese Holly

u

hyp

Native: China

Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon

fc

hyp

Native: SE USA

Koelreuteria bipinnata

Golden Rain Tree

r

hyp

Native: E Asia

Koelreuteria paniculata

Golden Rain Tree

r

hyp

Native: E Asia

Lagerstroemia indica

Crapemyrtle

r

hyp

Native: Asia

Ligustrum lucidum

Glossy Privet

u

hyp

Native: China, Japan, Korea

Ligustrum sinense

Chinese Privet

c

rab

Native: China

Maclura pomifera

Osage-orange

r

rab

Native: Central USA

Magnolia grandiflora

Southern Magnolia, Bull-bay

fc

hyp

Native: SE USA

Malus pumila

Common Apple

o

rab

Native: Eurasia

Melia azedarach

Chinaberry

u

rab

Native: China

Morus alba

White Mulberry

fc

rab

Native: China

Paulownia tomentosa

Princesstree, Royal Paulownia

c

rab

Native: China

Populus alba

White Poplar

fc

rab

Native: Europe

Prunus avium

Sweet Cherry

o

hyp

Native: Eurasia

Prunus caroliniana

Carolina Laurelcherry

o

hyp

Native: SE USA

Prunus persica

Peach

o

rab

Native: Asia

Pyrus calleryana

Callery Pear

fc

hyp

Native: Asia

Pyrus communis

Common Pear

o

rab

Native: Eurasia (hybrid origin)

Robinia pseudoacacia

Black Locust

c

rab

Native: Appalachians

Robinia pseudo-acacia

Salix alba

White Willow

r

rab

Native: Europe

Ulmus parviflora

Lacebark Elm, Chinese Elm

o

hyp

Native: China, Japan, Korea

 

 

 

Native Shrubs and Subshrubs

Scientific Name

Common Names

Freq*

Refº

Notes

Synonyms

Amelanchier obovalis

Coastal Plain Serviceberry

r

rab

Amelanchier stolonifera

Running Serviceberry, Dwarf Serviceberry

r

rab

Amelanchier spicata

Amorpha fruticosa

False Indigo-bush, Tall Indigo-bush

r

hyp

 

Amorpha herbacea

Dwarf Indigo-bush

r

rab

 

Aronia arbutifolia

Red Chokeberry

fc

rab

Sorbus arbutifolia, Photinia pyrifolia

Aronia prunifolia

Purple Chokeberry

r

rab

Photinia floribunda, Sorbus arbutifolia var. atropurpurea

Arundinaria gigantea

Giant Cane

o

hyp

Arundinaria tecta

Switch Cane

o

hyp

Asimina parviflora

Smallflower Pawpaw, Dwarf Pawpaw

u

rab

 

 

Callicarpa americana

American Beautyberry

o

rab

 

Ceanothus americanus

New Jersey-Tea

o

rab

 

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common Buttonbush

fc

rab

Chimaphila maculata

Striped Pipsissewa, Wintergreen

fc

rab

Chimaphila umbellata ssp. cisatlantica

Pipsissewa

r

rab

Clethra alnifolia

Coastal Sweet Pepperbush

r

rab

Comptonia peregrina

Sweetfern

vr

rab

Cornus amomum

Swamp Dogwood, Silky Dogwood

u

rab

 

Cornus stricta

Stiff Dogwood

r

rab

Cornus foemina

Corylus americana

American Hazelnut

u

rab

Corylus cornuta

Beaked Hazelnut

r

rab

 

Cunila origanoides

American-dittany, Wild-oregano

r

rab

Epigaea repens

Trailing Arbutus

r

rab

 

Eubotrys racemosa

Coastal Fetterbush

o

rab

Leucothoe racemosa

Euonymus americanus

Hearts-a-bustin', American Strawberry-bush

c

rab

Euonymus americana

Galax urceolata

Galax

r

rab

Galax aphylla

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen, Teaberry

r

rab

Gaylussacia baccata

Black Huckleberry

u

rab

 

Gaylussacia dumosa

Dwarf Huckleberry

r

rab

 

Gaylussacia frondosa

Dangleberry, Blue Huckleberry

r

rab

 

Hydrangea arborescens

Wild Hydrangea

r

rab

 

Hypericum crux-andreae

St. Andrew's-Cross, St. Peter's-Wort

o

rab

Hypericum stans

Hypericum hypericoides

St. Andrew's-Cross

c

rab

 

Hypericum lloydi

Sandhill St. John's-Wort

r

rab

 

Hypericum nudiflorum

Early St. John's-Wort

o

hyp

 

Hypericum stragalum

St. Andrew's-Cross

o

rab

Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule

Ilex glabra

Inkberry

r

rab

 

Ilex verticillata

Common Winterberry

r

rab

Itea virginica

Virginia Sweetspire

r

rab

 

Lindera benzoin var. pubescens

Hairy Northern Spicebush

u

hyp

Lycopodium digitatum

Running-Cedar, Fan Ground-Pine

c

rab

Lycopodium flabelliforme, Diphasiastrum digitatum

Lycopodium obscurum

Common Ground-pine

r

rab

Dendrolycopodium obscurum

Lycopodium tristachyum

Blue Running-cedar, Ground-cedar

vr

rab

Diphasiastrum tristachyum

Lyonia ligustrina

Maleberry

u

rab

 

Lyonia mariana

Staggerbush

u

rab

 

Morella caroliniensis

Southern Bayberry

r

rab

Myrica heterophylla

Nestronia umbellula

Nestronia, Leechbrush

r

rab

 

Phoradendron leucarpum

Oak Mistletoe

fc

rab

Phoradendron serotinum

Opuntia humifusa

Eastern Prickly-Pear

r

rab

Opuntia compressa

Pyrola americana

Rounded Shinleaf

r

rab

 

Rhododendron arborescens

Smooth Azalea

r

rab

 

Rhododendron periclymenoides

Pink Azalea, Pinxter Flower

fc

rab

Rhododendron nudiflorum

Rhododendron viscosum

Swamp Azalea

r

rab

Rhus aromatica

Fragrant Sumac

r

rab

 

Rhus michauxii

Michaux's Sumac

r

rab

 

Robinia hispida var. hispida

Bristly Locust

o

rab

 

Robinia nana

Dwarf Bristly Locust

r

rab

Robinia hispida var. nana

Rosa carolina

Carolina Rose

o

rab

 

Rosa palustris

Swamp Rose

u

rab

 

Rubus argutus

Saw-tooth Blackberry

c

rab

Rubus betulifolius

Rubus cuneifolius

Sand Blackberry

u

rab

 

Rubus flagellaris

Whiplash Dewberry

u

rab

 

Rubus occidentalis

Black Raspberry

o

rab

 

Salix caroliniana

Coastal Plain Willow

r

rab

Salix humilis

Prairie Willow

o

rab

 

Salix sericea

Silky Willow

o

rab

Sambucus canadensis

Common Elderberry

fc

rab

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Selaginella apoda

Meadow Spikemoss

r

rab

 

Selaginella rupestris

Rock Spikemoss

r

rab

 

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Coralberry

u

rab

 

Toxicodendron pubescens

Atlantic Poison-Oak

r

rab

Rhus toxicodendron

Vaccinium crassifolium

Creeping Blueberry

r

rab

Vaccinium elliottii

Elliott's Blueberry

r

rab

Vaccinium formosum

Smooth Highbush Blueberry

o

rab

split from V. corymbosum

Vaccinium fuscatum

Black Highbush Blueberry

c

rab

Vaccinium atrococcum

Vaccinium pallidum

Early Lowbush Blueberry

c

rab

Vaccinium vacillans

Vaccinium stamineum

Deerberry

c

rab

 

Vaccinium tenellum

Small Black Blueberry

u

rab

 

Viburnum acerifolium

Maple-leaf Viburnum

fc

rab

 

Viburnum dentatum

Southern Arrowwood

u

rab

 

Viburnum rafinesquianum

Downy Arrowwood

c

rab

 

Viburnum recognitum

Smooth Arrowwood

o

rab

Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum

Xanthorhiza simplicissima

Yellowroot

o

rab

 

Yucca filamentosa

Adam's Needle, Bear-Grass

o

rab

 

 

 

Naturalized Shrubs

Scientific Name

Common Names

Freq*

Refº

Notes

Synonyms

Citrus trifoliata

Trifoliate Orange, Hardy Orange

r

rab

Native: China

Poncirus trifoliata

Elaeagnus pungens

Thorny-Olive, Silverthorn

u

hyp

Native: Japan

 

Elaeagnus umbellata var. parvifolia

Autumn-Olive, Silverberry

c

rab

Native: China, Korea, Japan

 

Lespedeza bicolor

Shrubby Lespedeza

u

rab

Native: Asia

 

Lonicera maackii

Amur Honeysuckle

u

hyp

Native: Asia

 

Mahonia bealei

Leatherleaf Mahonia

u

hyp

Native: Asia

Berberis bealei

Nandina domestica

Nandina, Heavenly-Bamboo

u

hyp

Native: Asia

 

Rosa multiflora

Multiflora Rose

fc

hyp

Native: Asia

 

Spiraea trilobata

Asian Meadowsweet, Three-lobed Spiraea

vr

pho

Native: Asia

 

 

 

 

Native Woody Vines

Scientific Name

Common Names

Freq*

Refº

Notes

Synonyms

Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine

u

rab

Anisostichus capreolata

Campsis radicans

Trumpet Creeper

c

rab

 

Clematis viorna

N. Leatherflower, Vasevine

o

rab

 

Clematis virginiana

Virgin's-bower

o

rab

 

Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina Yellow-Jessamine

fc

rab

 

Lonicera sempervirens

Trumpet Honeysuckle

fc

rab

 

Menispermum canadense

Common Moonseed

u

rab

 

Mitchella repens

Partridgeberry

u

rab

 

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia Creeper

c

rab

 

Smilax bona-nox

Saw Greenbrier, Catbrier

c

rab

 

Smilax glauca

Whiteleaf Greenbrier, Catbrier

c

rab

 

Smilax hispida

Bristly Greenbriar

o

rab

Smilax tamnoides

Smilax laurifolia

Laurel Greenbrier

r

rab

 

Smilax rotundifolia

Common Greenbrier

c

rab

 

Smilax walteri

Coral Greenbrier

o

rab

 

Thyrsanthella difformis

Climbing Dogbane

u

rab

Trachelospermum difforme

Toxicodendron radicans

Eastern Poison-Ivy

c

rab

Rhus radicans

Vitis aestivalis var. aestivalis

Summer Grape

fc

hyp

 

Vitis labrusca

Fox Grape

fc

hyp

 

Vitis rotundifolia

Muscadine Grape, Scuppernong

c

rab

 

Vitis vulpina

Frost Grape

o

rab

 

Wisteria frutescens

American Wisteria

r

rab

 

 

 

 

Naturalized Woody Vines

Scientific Name

Common Names

Freq*

Refº

Notes

Synonyms

Celastrus orbiculatus

Oriental Bittersweet, Asian Bittersweet

u

hyp

Native: China

Celastrus orbiculata

Clematis terniflora

Sweet Autumn Clematis

o

hyp

Native: China, Korea, Japan

Clematis dioscoreifolia

Euonymus fortunei var. radicans

Winter Creeper

u

hyp

Native: China

 

Hedera helix

English Ivy

fc

spe

Native: Europe

 

Lonicera japonica

Japanese Honeysuckle

c

rab

Native: China, Japan

 

Pueraria montana var. lobata

Kudzu

fc

rab

Native: China, Japan

 

Vinca major

Bigleaf Periwinkle

o

rab

Native: Europe

 

Vinca minor

Common Periwinkle

fc

rab

Native: Europe

 

Wisteria sinensis

Chinese Wisteria

fc

rab

Native: China

 

 

 

 

*Freq = Frequency code
c = common - easy to find anywhere in the county with no special effort
fc = fairly common - can always be found with some effort
u = uncommon - not difficult to find with a directed search, but not present in most areas
o = occasional - may be difficult to find, even with searching appropriate habitat
r = rare - only a few known occurences, usually not found unless you know where to look
vr = very rare - only one or two known occurences
h = hypothetical - no known occurences, but has been found in more than one bordering county

ºRef = Reference for this species' occurence in Wake County, NC
hyp = hypothetical - occurs in surrounding counties
per = personal observation
rab = Radford, Ahles, and Bell (1968)
spe = specimen at NCSU, UNC, or Duke Herbarium

References
Radford, AE, HE Ahles, and CR Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

What is a tree?

There is no real clear-cut difference between a tree and a shrub, but to have a tree list you need to make the distinction. The definition here is the same as in the American Forestry Association's Big Tree Register (2000): a woody plant having one erect perennial stem or trunk at least 9.5 inches in circumference (3 inches in diameter) at 4.5 feet above the ground (breast height), a definitely formed crown of foliage, and a height of at least 13 feet. Source: EL Little, Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States Trees (Native and Naturalized). U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook 541.

Summer key to common species

Durham County NC trees, shrubs, and woody vines

Orange County NC trees, shrubs, and woody vines

North Carolina trees, shrubs, and woody vines


Created 2/18/07, cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2012 by Will Cook unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.