Plants That Live in Flooded Grasslands & Savannas

According to the World Wildlife Fund, flooded grasslands and savannas are common to continents in the world. In North America, the Everglades are an example of flooded savannas. Plants that grow in these regions are uniquely adapted to wet, marshy soil and sunny conditions. The Everglades features over 11,000 species of plants.

Saw Grass

Saw grass earned its name thanks to spiny, serrated leaf edges that make this plant look like a saw. Saw grass is a sedge grass with a triangular stem, not a true grass, which has a rounded stem. In the everglades, migratory birds use this grass as a shelter, and the seeds as a high-energy food. Wildfires start easily and spread quickly in saw grass, but the plant sprouts quickly from the roots and underwater stems.


Mangroves are a loose grouping of trees and shrubs that grow in flooded costal grasslands throughout the world. They are most prolific in Asia, but there are significant groves along the coast of Florida. Mangroves consist of about 70 varieties of plants including hibiscus, palm and myrtle. They are grouped together because they thrive in brackish, saline water. Mangroves are credited with extending the shoreline in many areas by trapping sediments before they can wash out to sea.


In wet and marshy swamplands, trees such as cypress thrive. Cypress are among the most flood tolerant of all tree species. The trees require water to develop. Mature cypresses may then live in water or on dry land. The roots of cypress have knotted segments, called knees, which grow above water. According to the World Wildlife Fund, scientists believe that cypresses use these roots to breathe. In water-logged areas such as the everglades, stands of cypress form tree islands that shelter hammock species of plants, such as orchids, bromeliads and ferns, in their branches.


Spanish moss, which is famous for trailing from willow trees in the south, is actually one of the most famous bromeliads in the south. Bromeliads are a part of the pineapple family. Bromeliads are a flowering plant that are exclusive to North and South America. Although the pineapple is used for food, most bromeliads are commonly utilized as houseplants. Bromeliads thrive in the Everglades due to the warm, humid climate.

Keywords: Wetlands plant species, Mangrove trees, Florida everglades

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.