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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Wetland Communities - Buttonwood Flats

Buttonwood Flats are generally forested wetlands. This type of plant assemblage is related to hypersaline flats as the "flats" are susceptible to storm wash and subsequent hypersaline soil conditions. These flats are often inhospitable to most vascular plants. The photograph below is very near the reference site on No Name Key (see the Florida Wetland Delineation Manual on our webpage, for more information about reference sites). Buttonwood flats are often found (landward) between the red mangrove fringe and (waterward of) tropical hammock. Buttonwood, saltwort, glasswort, salt grass, seaside dropseed grass, keys grass, sea oxeyes, christmas berry, sand cordgrass and the occasional black mangrove are typical.

Buttonwood Flat

View of a buttonwood flat on No Name Pine Key, Florida. Woody shrubs and small trees are primarily buttonwood with black mangrove in the background, the groundcover is mostly seashore dropseed grass, Keys grass and saltwort. See reference site in the Florida Wetland Delineation Manual for a more complete list of plants, hydrologic indicators and information about the soils. See illustrated plant ID cards for common plants.

Typical plants of buttonwood flats.

Woody Plants

Botanical Latin Common Name Wetland Status
Avicennia germinans black mangrove OBL
Borrichia frutescens bushy seaside tansy OBL
Conocarpus erectus buttonwood FACW


Herbaceous Plants

Botanical Latin Common Name Wetland Status
Batis maritima saltwort OBL
Distichlis spicata seashore saltgrass OBL
Borrichia arborescens tree seaside tansy OBL
Monanthochloe littoralis keygrass OBL
Salicornia bigelovii dwarf saltwort OBL
Lycium carolinianum Christmas berry OBL
Spartina patens saltmeadow cordgrass FACW
Spartina spartinae gulf cordgrass OBL
Sporobolus virginicus seashore dropseed OBL
Suaeda linearis annual seepweed OBL


Last updated: June 30, 2015

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