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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Common Plant Communities in Southwest Florida
 

Wetlands

Cypress domes – scattered throughout the area. Good examples on public land are found in the Hillsborough River State Park.

Hydric Hammock- found primarily along the near coast where limestone in near the surface, Hernando to Citrus Counties.

Hydric pine flatwoods –Throughout.

Savanna, wet prairie – locally common, associated with pine flatwoods.

Bayhead – Throughout.

Seepage slope/bog – found primarily along the slopes of the Lake Wales Ridge.

Floodplain forest/marsh – along streams and rivers. Good examples on public land are found in the Hillsborough River State Park.

Depression marsh  – Throughout. Good examples on public land are found in the Hillsborough River State Park.

Lakeshore marsh/swamp – Associated with large lakes, throughout.

Spring-run – includes floodplains/marsh in part – found wherever there are springs.

Salt marsh – only in coastal areas, tends to be replaced by mangroves as one moves south from Tampa Bay. Extensive salt marsh is found in the big bend of Florida, north of the Tampa Bay area. Good examples of salt marsh are found in Upper Tampa Bay (county) Park (Hillsborough County). See the our webpage for an illustrated guide to common salt marsh plants in central Florida.

Mangrove – only in coastal areas, restricted to tropical and subtropical climates along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico; mangroves may be damaged by cold winters along the central Florida coast. Good examples of red, white and black mangroves on public lands are found in Upper Tampa Bay (county) Park (Hillsborough County). See the our webpage for an illustrated guide to the mangroves and associated plants in Florida.  

Uplands

Sandhill – typically found along the Lake Wales Ridge associated with scrub and xeric hammock..

Scrub – typically found along the Lake Wales Ridge associated with sandhill and xeric hammock.

Xeric Hammock - typically found along the Lake Wales Ridge associated with sandhill and scrub.

Coastal Hammock - found landward of the dunes in coastal counties.

Beach dune - coastal counties only, typically associated with coastal scrub and coastal hammocks.

Mixed mesophytic forest – or southern mixed forest of mostly oaks and hickories, reaching its southern limit north of the Tampa area.

Pine flatwoods – Throughout. Good examples on public land are found in the Hillsborough River State Park.

Last updated: September 21, 2011

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