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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Common Plant Communities in the Florida Keys
 

Wetlands

Freshwater marsh/depression marsh – solution holes in the limestone with sawgras (Cladium sp.) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens); look for these in public access areas of the pine rocklands on Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge.

Brackish marsh/swamp –brackish areas mixed with buttonwood or mangroves, includes buttonwood flats, good examples are found on No Name Key, see The Florida Wetland Delineation Manual for instructions on how to locate our reference site on No Name Key. Another related type of brackish plant community is the rare and restricted, Strumpfia maritima flats (these are endemic to the Florida Keys), these Strumpfia flats can be found on public lands on Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge.

Mangrove swamps – Throughout the keys, especially in Florida Bay, also mangrove islands associated with Florida Keys. Many areas of public access such as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo, Bahia Honda State Recreational Area and Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge. See our webpage for an illustrated guide to mangroves in Florida.

Associated submerged plant communities include the marine seagrass flats. See the our webpage for an illustrated guide to seagrasses in Florida.

Hypersaline marsh and swampshypersaline flats with Suada, Batis, Keys grass, Salicornia; public access to this type of community can be found on long beach - Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge. See the our webpage for an illustrated guide to saltmarsh plants of south Florida.

Another plant community that is often associated with hypersaline marshes are hypersaline swamps such as those dominated by black mangrove, public access to this type of community can be found on long beach - Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge.

Uplands

Coastal Hammock - found landward of the coastal dunes, floristically related to subtropical hammocks, good examples with public access are found in the Bahia Honda State Recreational Area and Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge.

Beach dune – good examples with public access are found in the Bahia Honda State Recreational Area and Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge.

Pine Rocklands – good examples with public access are found in the Big Pine Key, National Key Deer Refuge.

Subtropical hammocks – excellent examples with public access are found in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo.

Last updated: September 21, 2011

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