Wetland Hardwood Hammocks and Hardwood Hammocks


Wetland hardwood hammocks occur on poorly drained soils subject to constant seepage or high water tables. They are subject to flooding but do not remain flooded for as long as hardwood swamps. This community has an evergreen appearance and supports luxurious vegetation and a diversity of plants and animals found in both drier and wetter sites. Characteristic components of this community include live oak, laurel oak, water oak, cabbage palm, southern magnolia, sweetbay, red maple, sweet gum, and red bay. The understory includes hawthorn, wax myrtle, witchhazel, saw palmetto, and yaupon.


Hardwood hammocks are typically associated with upland areas near streams and rivers. Dominant species include laurel oak or water oak, live oak, pignut hickory, and southern magnolia. The understory contains American holly, rusty lyonia, saw palmetto, sparkleberry, wax myrtle, and American beautyberry.

North Florida Flatwoods

Occurs on flat expanses with deep, acid, poorly to very poorly drained soils. During heavy rains, the water table is often at or near the surface. The community is now dominated by slash pine and saw palmetto and is punctuated with swamps, ponds, and marshes.

Hardwood Swamp

Swamp Hardwoods

Found on level or nearly level areas with very poorly drained soils bordering rivers and low-lying areas that are submerged or saturated with water part of the year. Historically these areas were dominated by mature bald cypress; however, heavy logging during the first half of the 20th century removed most of the mature cypress. Today overstory species include blackgum, redbay, loblolly bay, Carolina ash, loblolly pine, sweet bay, cabbage palm, red maple, and water tupelo.


Salt Marsh

Coastal Salt Marsh

Salt marsh is typically dominated by grasses, sedges, and rushes snaked by tidal creeks. Common salt marsh plants include black needlerush, giant cordgrass, seashore saltgrass, glasswort, and sea purslane.




Freshwater Marsh

Freshwater Marsh

Occurs on nearly level land with poorly drained soils. Contains open expanses of grasses, sedges, rushes, and other herbaceous plants. The soil is usually saturated or covered with water for two or more months during the year. Typical plants include beak rush, maidencane, bulrushes, sedges, spikerush, arrowhead, pickerelweed, St. Johns wort, cattails, blue flag, and fire flag.



Cypress Swamp

Cypress Swamp

Occurs on nearly level ground or in depressions with water at or above ground level for a good portion of the year. Dominated by either bald cypress or pond cypress and generally occurs as cypress heads or domes. This community was probably more extensive before the extensive logging of cypress early in the 20th century.

FWC Facts:
A woodpecker can peck 20 times a second.

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