Pine Flatwoods

pine flatwoods

Pine flatwoods are characterized by an open canopy of widely spaced south Florida slash pines with an understory of gallberry and saw palmetto. Other typical plants include St. Johns wort, dwarf huckleberry, fetterbush, dwarf wax myrtle, and staggerbush. During the rainy season flatwoods are often inundated due to the flat topography and the hardpan that underlies the surface soils. Periodic fires are required to maintain healthy flatwoods, but even degraded flatwoods can be restored with proper management.


photo wet prairies

Wet Prairies

Wet prairie is a treeless plain with sparse to dense ground cover of grasses and herbs, including wiregrass, toothache grass, and maidencane. Wet prairie is usually covered with water for 50 to 100 days each year and burns every 2 to 4 years. If the fire interval is longer, wax myrtle and melaleuca will invade.



Freshwater Marshes

Flag Pond

On Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area, freshwater marshes consist of depression marshes and basin marshes. Depression marshes are shallow usually rounded depressions. Typical plants include St. Johns wort, spikerush, yellow-eyed grass, chain fern, willows, maidencane, wax myrtle, swamp primrose, blood root, button bush, fire flag, pickerelweed, and arrowhead. Depression marshes are important breeding grounds for frogs, toads, and salamanders. Basin marshes have the same vegetation as depression marshes but their extent is larger.

FWC Facts:
The world's whooping crane population has gradually increased from a low of 22 birds in 1941 to 503 birds in 2009.

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