These two unidentified vessels are nicknamed “flowerpot” wrecks for the vegetation confined by the boundary of each ship, much like a flower pot. The hulls were weighted with rocks to restrict their movement, leading to the collection of sediment and seeds over time which turned the wrecks into artificial islands. Located adjacent to the shoreline, they help stabilize the banks of Mallows Bay and have been colonized by a progression of land plants, extending the wetland habitat along the shoreline. Data collected near these ships has documented marsh plants such as Marsh tickseed, Cardinal flower, and Interior sandbar willow. Wildlife that rely on these diverse marsh plants for food, habitat, and breeding have also been spotted in the area, such as Red-winged blackbirds and Zebra swallow-tail butterflies.
Zebra swallowtail, a common species of butterfly at Mallows Bay (Michael Osborn/Courtesy of Maryland DNR).
Red winged blackbird. (Kelly Kimbis/Courtesy of Maryland DNR).
An aerial view of the Flowerpot wrecks (Courtesy of Duke University).
The Flowerpot wrecks from above (Courtesy of Duke University).
Cardinal flower (Elizabeth Gill/ Courtesy of Maryland DNR).
Marsh tickseed (Matt McIntosh/NOAA).