If you spend some time in the state of Alabama, you may be asking yourself, “What are all of those plants that I see around the state?”
If your curiosity gets the better of you and you want to know for sure, you may be surprised at how many wetland plants abound across the state.
Alabama is rich in coastal wetland—there are presently upwards of 118,000 acres of coastal wetlands in the state—and said wetlands are a useful resource to ecosystems and marine life alike.
The Alabama wetlands are also a good home for a plethora of animals.
Here are just some of the common wetland plants that you can observe in Alabama.
Also known as the rocky shoals spider lily, the Cahaba lily is classified as Hymenocallis coronaria.
A perennial flowering plant, it can also be found in the states of South Carolina as well as Georgia.
You can recognize it by its height of about 3 feet and also its production of white, big flowers that begin to bloom from the start of May to the end of June.
Its fragrant flowers only bloom for a day, and it may normally be found in shallower areas of water in direct sunlight.
- The branched foldwing, or Dicliptera brachiate, is a perennial herb that has been known to reach 4 feet in length.
- This plant is known to flower from July to October, and you might be able to identify it based on the fact that it can attract a lot of species of butterflies.
- You can also spot this plant based on round and tiny flowers that can be either purple or pink in color and rounded and smoothed leaves.
- This plant is able to take a wide array of different light conditions, but it really has a preference for moist conditions and partial shade.
- Alligator weed, or Alternanthera philoxeroides, is a perennial and immersed plant that can actually be found across a wide range of places, though it is usually seen in wetlands like those of Alabama.
- An invasive plant that has a reputation for constricting the oxygen penetrations of waterways, alligator weed is capable of killing fish and other types of aquatic life as it pushes out other kinds of plants.
- It is in the summer months that its flowers—which are identifiable by their ball shape and white color—bloom.
- This plant attracts mosquitoes in the water because it has a tendency to form thick mats in the water.
Fragrant Water Lily
A perennial and floating plant of the water, the fragrant water lily, or nymphala odorata, can reach a length of up to 8 feet in the water.
You may be able to spot it based on its leaves, which are circular and big, and also its flowers, which are white and bloom the summer all the way to the early part of the fall.
This is an invasive kind of plant that has a reputation for spreading quickly and growing in more still waters.
It is a favorite food for animals such as waterfowl, beaver and deer. It is also a great source of protection for various species of fish.
The Clematis crispa L. belongs to the buttercup family.
A climbing vine that can reach heights of 10 feet, the swamp leatherflower, it is known to have leaves that are consisting of between 3 and 5 leaflets and purple or pink flowers, which measure about 1 to 2 inches each.
This wetland plant attracts birds for its seeds and butterflies for its nectar.
Alabama’s wetland plants are quite diverse, as you can see from above. Some of the wetland plants of Alabama are known for attracting both birds as well as insects, while other wetland plants of Alabama are actually great food sources for certain animals such as deer and beaver. Still other wetland plants of Alabama are highly invasive, meaning that they push out other plants and constrict the oxygen penetration of the waterways.
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