Habitats.jpg

 

Floodplain Marsh

Floodplain-Marsh.jpgThis is the predominant plant community at Tosohatchee and comprises the eastern third of the WMA, which includes the seasonally inundated lands adjacent to the St. Johns River. Extensive stands of sand cordgrass are broken by slightly deeper depressions and sloughs where pickerelweed, duck potato, sawgrass and other aquatic species grow.

 

Hydric Hammock

Hydric-Hammock.jpg Hydric hammock covers large areas of Tosohatchee.  It typically occurs between depression marshes and flatwoods, along edges of floodplain swamps and dome swamps, in slight depressions in wet flatwoods and is most extensive along the edge of the St. Johns River floodplain. Generally, the canopy and sub-canopy are dominated by live oak, cabbage palm, red maple, American hornbeam, red cedar, sweetgum, swamp bay and slash pine. Shrubs are mainly cabbage palm, common persimmon, wax myrtle, saw palmetto, highbush blueberry and small-leaf viburnum. The groundcover is composed of ferns, grasses and other herbs. Ephiphytes are diverse and abundant and include Florida butterfly orchid, green-fly orchid and giant wild-pine. Golden polypody, shoestring fern, and infrequently, hand fern, can be found on cabbage palms. 

 

 

wet-flatwoods.jpgWet Flatwoods

Stands of slash pine with a dense understory of cabbage palm characterize the wet flatwoods. Groundcover is sparse in areas with heavy shade and pine needle drop, while sand cordgrass, sugarcane plumegrass, blue maidencane and several panicum species grow in areas with more open canopies. A number of protected plant species occur in wet flatwoods and include cutthroat grass, hooded pitcher plant, blueflower butterwort, yellow-flowered butterwort and celestial lily.

 

Mesic Flatwoods

mesic-flatwoods.jpg These higher, drier pine flatwoods along the WMA’s western edge are dominated by older, mature and, occasionally, old growth slash pine. Other canopy and subcanopy trees include sweetgum, pond pine, loblolly pine, laurel oak, live oak and cabbage palm. Longleaf pine can be found in a few areas. Common shrub species are netted pawpaw, common persimmon, gallberry, coastalplain staggerbush, wax myrtle, dwarf live oak, cabbage palm, saw palmetto and shiny blueberry. Groundcover is a diverse mix of wiregrass, toothache grass, bluestem and other herbs. Protected species such as cutthroat grass, Catesby’s lily, rain lily and several species of orchids grow here. A unique 40-acre stand of old growth slash pine occurs near the former location of the Beehead Ranch House.

 

Floodplain Swamp

floodplain-swamp.jpg Floodplain swamps occur along Tootoosahatchee Creek, Jim Creek and Taylor Creek. Bald cypress, pond cypress, swamp tupelo, Carolina ash and water locust are typical canopy trees. The understory in sparse to moderately dense with swamp dogwood, common buttonbush, dahoon, dwarf palmetto, wax myrtle, myrsine and cabbage palm. The diverse groundcover is composed of ferns, terrestrial wetland herbs and aquatic emergents. Epiphytes are abundant and include the Florida butterfly orchid.



FWC Facts:
The Wall Street Journal has ranked the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival of Brevard County as the third-best birding festival in the United States.

Learn More at AskFWC