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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Wetland Communities -  Floodplain Marsh

Floodplain Marsh

View of floodplain marsh along the Myakka River, Myakka River State Park, Sarasota County, Florida. Note the dominance of paragrass, barnyard grass and swamp mallow.

Floodplain marshes are typically associated with floodplain swamps along rivers and streams. These are natural features influenced by overflow and inundation from a flood event. Floodplain marshes are both wetlands and surface waters and are typically flooded for a portion of the growing season. Look for hydrologic indicators during dry periods such as rafted debris, elevated lichen lines, adventitious rooting, river wash, sediment deposition and stain lines. Often the ordinary high water line (OHWL) can be determined by observing the elevation of hydrologic indicators. When gauge data is available the mean annual flood can be calculated and used as an approximation of the OHWL. As their name would indicate floodplain marshes are important landscapes that help alleviate the disastrous effects of flooding and provide important habitat for many wetland dependent species. See illustrated plant ID cards for common plants.

The following is a list of the common plants associated with floodplain marshes in south Florida.


Botanical name Common name DEP status
Acrostichum danaeifolium leather fern OBL
Aeschynomene sp. jointvetch FACW, OBL
Amaranthus australis southern amaranth OBL
Aster carolinianus climbing aster OBL
Blechnum serrulatum swamp fern FACW
Brachiaria mutica para grass UPL
Canna flaccida bandanna of the Everglades OBL
Carex gigantea large sedge OBL
Crinum americanum swamp lily OBL
Cynodon dactylon bermudagrass UPL
Cyperus sp. flatsedge OBL, FACW
Echinochloa crus-galli barnyardgrass FACW
Echinochloa walteri coast cockspur FACW
Eleocharis baldwinii Baldwin's spikerush OBL
Hibiscus grandiflorus swamp rosemallow OBL
Hydrochloa caroliniensis watergrass OBL
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides floating penny-wort OBL
Hymenachne amplexicaulis trompetilla OBL
Hymenocallis crassifolia spider lily OBL
Juncus repens lesser creeping rush OBL
Justicia angusta pineland waterwillow OBL
Limnobium spongia frogbit OBL
Ludwigia leptocarpa anglestem primrosewillow OBL
Ludwigia palustris marsh seedbox OBL
Ludwigia peruviana Peruvian primrosewillow OBL
Ludwigia repens creeping primrosewillow OBL
Panicum dichotomiflorum fall panicum FACW
Panicum hemitomon maidencane OBL
Panicum rigidulum red-top panicum FACW
Paspalum repens water paspalum OBL
Polygonum sp. smartweed OBL
Proserpinaca palustris marsh mermaidweed OBL
Rumex verticillatus swamp dock FACW
Sagittaria lancifolia bulltongue arrowhead OBL
Scirpus cubensis Cuban bulrush OBL
Sesbania emerus danglepod FAC
Thalia geniculata fire flag OBL
Typha sp. cattail OBL
Woodwardia virginica chainfern FACW

Last updated: June 30, 2015

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