Alabama’s Native Plants, Communities, and Habitats

Our living collections contain native plants. When we call a plant native, we mean it occurred in the Southeastern United states prior to human intervention. Some are very widespread species, while others are very rare because they are adapted to live in a specific type of habitats. Others include plants that may occur elsewhere in the country, but in Alabama are specific to a single region.

The following pages aim to inform you on some of the specific habitats, plant communities, and species of interest that occur in Alabama and here at the Arboretum. These plants grow together across the state in assemblages we call plant communities. These plant communities vary with the different environmental conditions found in the state. For example, the largest single geographic division in the state is the Fall Line. This line makes a sweep from the Northwest corner of the state down through Tuscaloosa, between Birmingham and Montgomery, and right through Auburn into Georgia. Though some types of plants occur statewide, there are many species that occur south of the fall line on the Coastal plain, but not north of it, and vice versa. Habitat types and plant communities are less likely to occur on both sides of the line.

map of alabama arboretum