|Do you know Florida's native plant communities?|
Have you ever wondered what the heck a scrubby flatwoods is or what the difference is between a slough and a wet prairie?
Well, wonder no more! The FNPS website includes a Native Plant Communities page with all of Florida's complex ecosystems explained and illustrated by photos.
The communities are organized into 13 broad categories: Xeric Uplands, Dry Mesic Uplands, Mesic Uplands, Wet Flatlands, Seepage Wetlands, Moving Water Wetlands, Floodplain Wetlands, Basin Wetlands, Rocklands, Coastal Uplands, Coastal Wetlands, Flowing Water Systems, and Lakes & Ponds. There are two or more specific communities under each broad category. Isn't Florida amazing?
Why is it important to be familiar with all this?Whether you are just planting natives in your yard or working on a true restoration project, it's important to know what is likely to have been there 500 years ago. Knowing Florida's native plant communities or ecosystems and the plants that grow there will help you to choose the best plants for your projects.
A sample of Florida's Native Plant Communities
|Under the broad category of Moving Water Wetlands, this is the description for "Swale."|
|Under the broad category of Moving Water Wetlands, this is the description for "Slough."|
|Under the broad category of Flowing Water Systems, this is the description for "Blackwater Stream."|
|Under the broad category of Lakes and Ponds, this is the description for "Acidic Low Nutrient Lakes."|
Written and posted by Ginny Stibolt.
Update: Several people wrote to ask for references on these communities. Here is the initial list, which will be posted on the next version of the FNPS website:
The majority of these references were written by members of the Florida Native Plant Society!. Thanks to all of them for their contributions to native plant ecology in Florida.