Shade-Tolerant Swamp Plants

Some wetlands are open to the sky, but many swamps are thickly forested with cypress, conifer, maple or other trees. The plants growing below the canopy have a wide range of natural adaptions which allow them to deal not only with the shade, but also with humidity, flooding, poor soil quality and all the other environmental factors that make swamps unique.

Butterwort

Butterwort or Pinguicula is a family of insectivorous swamp plants. They catch insects using their leaves, which are covered in a sticky substance that bugs can't escape from. This sticky coating contains digestive juices, which dissolve the trapped insects, allowing the butterwort plant to digest them. Although some butterworts prefer to have at least a few hours of sunlight a day, they are shade-tolerant swamp plants and will grow in low light conditions.

Bromeliads

Often called air plants, bromeliads are small swamp plants that need little of anything, including sunlight. Shade-tolerant air plants have fragile, delicate root systems that anchor them to trees and other surfaces. Their roots do not feed them, however. Instead, bromeliads absorb water from their humid environments through their leaves. Air plants are known for their thin, pointed clusters of leaves, often culminating in a single, tiny flowering shoot.

Swamp Sunflower

Native to Georgia, where they live in swamps and ditches, swamp sunflower are shade-tolerant swamp plants that adore moisture. These plants also do well in sunlight, and can grow several feet high in the right conditions. In shady conditions, they will not grow as tall, but will still put out the same vibrant yellow blossoms.

Keywords: swamp plants, air plants, shade tolerant