Wetland Plants

Wetland plant communities are very interesting and some are unique. Here you will find plants that live only in wetland habitats, plants that live only in dry upland soils, and plants that thrive in both environments.

Willows are the most abundant shrub in this wetland. Willows are like people – each plant is either male or female. Willow flowers on both male and female plants are arranged in catkins.


Look around you. Most of what looks like grass is actually a grass-like plant called a sedge. An old rhyme says “sedges have edges”. The stem of a sedge is triangular instead of round like a rush or a grass. If you roll a sedge stem between your fingers you can feel the distinct edges on the stem.

Water Smartweed

Water smartweed is a perennial herb that grows along the edges of open water. Leaves float on the
water or emerge with stalks that end in pink flower clusters. Water fowl eat the seeds in the fall. Indigenous people used smartweed as an antiseptic and poisoning cure.

Aquatic plants grow beneath the water and sometimes float on the surface or emerge into the air. Floating aquatic plants in this area include spiked water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), pond lily (Nuphar lutea), common mare’s tail (Hippurus vulgaris), and various-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus).