Wetlands are regions where water environments, such as large lake systems, river deltas and oceans, gradually merge with land. Swamps and marshes are examples of wetlands, and there are many different wetland regions in the United States, including the Florida Everglades and marshlands in Michigan. In Alaska, 43 per cent of the land surface is given over to wetlands. Because wetlands occur in different regions with different climates, plant types may differ from region to region.
Water Spider Orchid
The water spider orchid is native to Florida and grows in wetlands consisting of marsh found at the edges of lakes and other bodies of still water. The plant propagates and spreads by means of seeds, but it can also spread by tendrils, known as runners, that spread out from individual plants. The plant roots in water and is therefore known as an immersed plant. The stalk of the plant can grow to a height of 3 feet and produces small green flowers around the dip of the stem. When the flowers bloom, their resemblance to small spiders gives the plant its common name.
Yellow Pitcher Plant
The yellow pitcher plant can be found in the wetlands of the northern peninsula in the state of Michigan. The plant grows in acid peat bogs, and feeds by extracting nutrients from insects that it traps in its leaves. The leaves themselves are tubular and shaped like pitchers, and this gives the plant its common name. Insects that enter the tubular leaves are prevented from getting out by downward-facing hairs that grow on the inside of the leaf's surface.
The California bulrush is a perennial plant, meaning that it regrows each season from the same root system. Despite its common name, it can be found in wetland areas in many parts of the United States. In California, it is grows in the freshwater marshes located near the coast from San Diego County in the south to as far north as Napa County. The plant can also be found in the freshwater marshes of the inland valley. The California bulrush is a tall plant, with stems that grow up to 8 feet tall.
The freshwater swamps and marshes of Florida, New England, Michigan and Illinois are the native habitat of the lizard's tail. The white flowers grow at the end of spiky stems, and the plant can grow to a height of 4 feet. The lizard's tail is an immersed plant, meaning that its roots grow in the sediment beneath the water, while the stems and leaves grow above the surface of the water.
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- Earth Gauge: Wetland Plants
- University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: Plant Type Category
- Michigan State University: Yellow Pitcher Plant
- United States Department of Agriculture: California Bulrush
- University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: Lizard's Tail
- University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: Water-Spider Orchid