Habitat Symbol

How to decode soil type and plant habitat symbols


W (Wet) - Usually saturated or wet, such as wetland or bottomland prairie.

WM (Wet Mesic) - Clay soils and/or soils excessively wet in spring and fall, drying out in summer.

M (Mesic) - Typical garden soil, good fertility and proper drainage. Species grow well in clay topsoil of southeastern Wisconsin.

DM (Dry Mesic) - Well-drained soil, sandy, silty, or rocky. Water drains readily, but not rapidly. 

D (Dry) - Water drains rapidly. Does not retain moisture. 

S (Sand) - Pure sand, may be sterile or unfertile soil, such as sand dunes and rock outcroppings. Many native Wisconsin species grow here. 


Sav (Savanna) - Sparse trees provide shade for part of the day. Partial shade tolerance. 

OW (Open Woods) - Grow in forest gaps where trees have fallen. Partial to full shade tolerance. 

FE (Forest Edge) - Species grow along edge where forest meets open areas. Species tolerate partial shade, preferably indirect sunlight. 

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