hdr_home (36K)
  HOME COLLECTION EDUCATION IMAGE GALLERY SOUTH FLORIDA ORGANIZATIONS MEETINGS STAFF
  SHARK TROPICAL
RESEARCH
FRESHWATER
RESEARCH
BIOLOGICAL
PROFILES
JUST FOR KIDS SITE LINKS FLMNH

South Florida Aquatic Environments

Coastal Prairies



NATIVE FLORA
Buttonwood
courtesy NOAA

Buttonwood


Coastal Prairies:

Native Flora

  • Saltwort and glasswort are abundant across coastal prairies
Plants within the coastal prairie habitat are able to tolerate salt and extreme weather conditions. However, strong winds and harsh weather result in the felling of many trees. The dead trees are referred to as snags and quickly become home to a variety of epiphytes including orchids and air plants.

Perennial Glasswort (Salicornia virginica)
© James Reiter
Glasswort

Saltwort (Batis maritime)
© Alan Harper

Batis maritime

The majority of the coastal prairie is covered by saltwort (Batis maritima), perennial glasswort (Salicornia virginica), annual glasswort (Salicornia bigelovii), and small buttonwood trees. Saltwort is a pale green, low-growing succulent with curved leaves, while the glasswort has no leaves and is light green during the summer months and red throughout the autumn. These plants provide cover for the small animals that reside within this harsh habitat.

Other plants commonly associated with coastal prairies include:

Red Mangrove (Rhizopora mangle)
© Cathleen Bester/FLMNH
Red Mangrove