Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ronald L. Jones

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences


The vascular flora of Breaks Interstate Park was documented during two growing seasons, 2008 and 2009; with supplemental collections made in 2010 and 2011. The project area is located in eastern Kentucky and western Virginia at the northeastern terminus of Pine Mountain along the Appalachian Plateau. A total of 118 families, 341 genera, and 549 species, varieties, and subspecies were documented from Breaks Interstate Park. Six main vegetative communities were described: mesophytic forest, upper slopes and ridgetops, ponds/wetlands, river bottomland and floodplain/streamside, sandstone outcrops, and disturbed/open areas. Eleven rare species with state rankings were identified: Adlumia fungosa, Hydrastis canadensis, Juglans cinerea, Meehania cordata, Monotropis odorata, Panax quinquefolius, Prosartes maculata, Saxifraga caroliniana, Silene rotundifolia, Spiranthes lucida, and Triphora trianthophora. In addition, six taxa with Kentucky rankings were found on the Virginia side of the park. Ninety-one non-native species were documented (17% of the flora), and of this list, 48 species are considered invasive in Kentucky or Virginia. Specimens of vascular plant species were collected and voucher specimens will be housed in the Eastern Kentucky University Herbarium.