Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area
Millville, Cumberland County, NJ


South of Millville on Route 47 south; left turn onto Orange Street (heading through the Millville Industrial Park area); right onto Gordon Road, and right onto Reese Road. Park along the street and head south along the railroad tracks.

(For maps see:


Menantico comes from Menantakh, "covered swamp."

Sand mining and holly farming took place here. They are both abandoned now. The sand mining operations disrupted the river. The area marks the limit of the tide. The Menantico River was once mostly freshwater, but now the river is more brackish and has lots of blue crabs.


Dr. Gerry Moore

Acer rubrum (red maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula nigra (river birch) in here
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carya pallida (pale hickory) in here
Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Diospyros virginiana (persimmon)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay magnolia)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus falcata (Spanish oak)
Quercus marilandica (blackjack oak)
Quercus michauxii (swamp chestnut oak)
Quercus nigra (water oak)
Quercus phellos (willow oak)
Quercus prinoides (chinquapin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus stellata (post oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Amelanchier canadensis (coastal shadbush)
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry)
Baptisia tinctoria (yellow wild indigo)
Chimaphila maculata (striped wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Gaylussacia frondosa (blue huckleberry)
Ilex glabra (inkberry)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheeps kill)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Lyonia mariana (staggerbush)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea) *
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rosa palustris (swamp rose)
Rubus cuneifolius (sand dewberry)
Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus pensilvanicus (Pennsylvania blackberry)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Taxus sp. (yew)
Toxicodendron pubescens (poison oak) larger hairier fruit and more toothed leaflets
Vaccinium atrococcum (black blueberry)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)

Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Mikania scandens (climbing hempweed)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax glauca (sawbrier)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Amaranthus cannabinus (salt marsh water hemp)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Asclepias amplexicaulis (blunt-leaved milkweed)
Bidens spp. (beggar ticks)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
Chondrilla juncea (skeleton weed) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Dichotomum dichotomum (blue curls) *
Diodia teres (buttonweed) *
Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leaved sundew)
Eclipta prostrata (yerba-de-tajo)
Eriocaulon parkeri (Parker's pipewort)
Eupatorium album (white boneset)
Eupatorium serotinum (late-flowering boneset) *
Euphorbia ipecachuanae (ipecac spurge)
Euphorbia nutans (eyebane spurge) *
Euthamia tenuifolia (narrow-leaved goldenrod)
Froelichia gracilis (slender cotton weed) *
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) *
Helianthemum canadense (frostweed)
Helianthemum propinquum (pine barrens frostweed)
Heterotheca subaxillaris (camphorweed) *
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Hieracium gronovii (hairy hawkweed) *
Hieracium venosum (rattlesnake hawkweed) in here
Hudsonia ericoides (golden heather)
Hudsonia tomentosa (beach heather)
Hypericum spp. (St. Johnswort)
Iris versicolor (blue flag)
Lespedeza cuneata (Chinese bushclover)
Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) *
Lycopus sp. (americanus?) (American water horehound)
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover)
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Petrorhagia prolifera (childing pink)
Plantago aristata (bracted plantain)
Pluchea odorata (salt marsh fleabane) *
Polygonella articulata (coastal jointweed)
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed)
Polygonum punctatum (punctate smartweed)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrowhead tearthumb) *
Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed)
Pyxidanthera barbulata (pyxie) in here
Rhexia virginica (Virginia meadow beauty)
Sagittaria graminea (grass-leaved arrowhead)
Solidago canadensis (Canada goldenrod)
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var hairy way down
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trichostema dichotomum (blue curls)
Utricularia gibba? (humped bladderwort)?
Xanthium strumarium (clotbur)
Xerophyllum asphodeloides (turkey beard) in here

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Cyperus grayi (Gray's flatsedge)
Cyperus spp. (flatsedge)
Eleocharis olivacea (spikerush)?
Eleocharis parvula (swarf spikerush)
Rhynchospora capitellata (small-headed beakrush)

Andropogon virginicus var. abbreviatus (Virginia bush beard grass)
Aristida tuberculosa (three-awn grass)
Cenchrus tribuloides (dune sandbur)
Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass)
Digitaria spp. (crab grass)
Distichlis spicata (spike grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Eragrostis spectabilis (purple love grass)
Glyceria obtusa (coastal mannagrass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panicgrass)
Panicum spp. (panic grass)
Panicum verrucosum (warty panicgrass)
Panicum virgatum (switch panicgrass)
Phragmites australis (giant reedgrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria spp. (foxtail grass)
Sporobolus sp. (dropseed grass)
Triplasis purpurea (purple sandgrass)
Zizania aquatica (wild rice grass)

Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)

reindeer lichen

Species located in Menantico Creek Preserve (according to TNC):
Desmodium strictum (pineland tick-trefoil)
Gentiana autumnalis (pine barren gentian)

Trip Report

September 21 & 22, 2002. Cumberland County, south New Jersey.

A group of botanists from the Torrey Botanical Society and the Philadelphia Botanical Society met at the intersection of Routes 47 and 670 south of Port Elizabeth in Cumberland County. The first botanical stop for the group was the Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area. One thing that was interesting was just how many oak species are in this area, including Quercus alba (white oak), Q. falcata (Spanish oak), Q. ilicifolia (bear oak), Q. marilandica (blackjack oak), Q. michauxii (swamp chestnut oak), Q. nigra (water oak), Q. phellos (willow oak), Q. prinoides (chinquapin oak), Q. prinus (chestnut oak), Q. stellata (post oak) and Q. velutina (black oak). For the more northern botanist, a treat was seeing Toxicodendron pubescens (poison oak) with its larger, hairier fruits and more toothed leaflets than Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy).

Many of the trip participants went with the trip leader into the Menantico River to check out the water plants. The water was fairly deep so even those with boots had to abandon them for bare feet. Fortunately, the river bottom was very sandy and not bad at all on the feet. A special treat was seeing Eriocaulon parkeri (Parker's pipewort).

The group ate lunch in a sandy field under cover of a few trees. A plant found here worth mentioning was Chondrilla juncea (skeleton weed) in bloom.

After lunch the group returned to the morning's meeting place and walked south along Route 47 down to mile marker 31 and then descended into the woods and down to a dried up pond and open meadow. The formerly wet meadow was literally covered with Gratiola aurea (yellow hedge hyssop) in bloom. Also here were Xyris difformis (yellow eyed grass) and Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry).

Then the group bushwacked west through the woods to find a set of ponds left over from sand mining operations. Here there were lots of plants of Eriocaulon aquaticum (common pipewort). Submerged in the water were many plants of the species Myriophyllum humile (lowly water milfoil). One shallow pond was covered with Scirpus subterminalis (water bulrush).

The group walked further west to cross a road and then walked a short ways south to pick up a trail along the railroad tracks leading back to our car parking area. Although the railroad tracks have only been abandoned for about five years, the tracks were covered with pine trees. In fact, there are lots of pine species in the area, including Pinus echinata (shortleaf pine), P. rigida (pitch pine), P. serotina (pond pine), P. taeda (loblolly pine), P. thunbergii (Japanese black pine), and P. virginiana (Virginia pine).

At times it was very tough going for the group as we had literally to push through the vegetation. When the tracks bordered a huge salt marsh area we had to push through the Baccharis halimifolia (groundsel bush). An interesting plant in bloom here was Samolus floribundus (water pimpernel).

That evening, the group that was staying for the field trip the next morning went out for dinner at the Neptune Seafood Restaurant on Route 47 in Vineland.

9/22/02. The group traveled south to Thompson's Beach but the tide was in and still so high that it covered the old torn-up road out to the beach. So the group drove across the Maurice River bridge to the west side of the river and traveled to the Turkey Point W.M.A. (Hansey Creek Road area). Last year the group botanized here but the weather was so miserable that not that many species were recorded.

This time the group found a great many species. We primarily explored the field area. Linda Kelly found in bloom Pyrrhopappus carolinianus again (it looks somewhat like goatsbeard, Tragopogon pratensis). Other species found in bloom were Agalinis purpurea (purple gerardia), Chondrilla juncea (skeleton weed), Cirsium discolor (field thistle), Ipomoea hederacea (ivy-leaved morning glory), Polygala brevifolia (short-leaf milkwort) and P. lutea (orange milkwort).

The group later stopped at Thompson's Beach (just west of Moore's Beach where the group went last year). It was too hot and too late in the day to take the long walk out to Thompon's Beach itself, so we botanized on only a small section of the road. Kochia scoparia (summer cypress) was a common plant here. A plant in bloom new to most in the group was Sesuvium maritimum (sea purslane) in the family Aizoaceae.

Total attendance was 15. The trip participants for the first day were Dave Austin, Deborah Carr, Drs. Patrick and Rosemary Cooney, Steve Glenn, Linda Kelly, Doug Kligman, James Lauer, Charles and Mary Leck, James C. Lendemer, James Macklin, Angela Steward, and Doug Wexler. Trip participants for the second day of the trip were Drs. Patrick and Rosemary Cooney, Linda Kelly, Charles and Mary Leck, and Keith Seager. The trip leader was Gerry Moore.