Sable Island's unique topography and dune system owe their existence to the sand-anchoring properties of vegetation. Approximately 1/3 of the island is vegetatedFootnote 1 and most of the native flora of Sable Island is typical to similar dune environments in Eastern North America.

Sable Island National Park Reserve.
Sable Island marram grass.

Sable Island National Park Reserve.
Sandwort on Sable Island. 

The island’s interior is largely dominated by heath-type vegetation, while the extremities are vegetated mainly by salt-tolerant and sand-loving plants, such as sandwort and marram grass. Over 190 plant species have been identified on Sable and 20 of them are considered to have a restricted distribution elsewhere.Footnote 2