Plant Life in the Louisiana Swamps
Though the Louisiana swamplands are known for their plethora of unique animal life, these ecosystems also house various interesting vegetation. From trees and native plants to invasive and colorful flowers and weeds, this region boasts a beautiful blend of wetlands. Learn more about the plant life in the Louisiana swamps.
The most common inhabitant of deep-water swamps, cypress trees are characterized by their beautiful tall trunks, thin branches, and bright green, pointed leaves. These trees act as shelter for many animals in the swamp ecosystem, and they provide food for certain species that feed on sap. Though they weren’t initially native to the swamplands, cypress tress adapted over the years to handle the extremely wet conditions.
Visitors to the Louisiana swamplands also commonly see Spanish moss draped around the branches of cypress trees. More of a plant than moss, Spanish moss has long, fuzzy leaves that droop down over each branch to create a scene unique to the swamp. This species also flowers in the right weather conditions.
These small, floating plants are another characteristic of the swamplands, as you’ll commonly find them in larger bodies of water. Duckweed has three, green leaves that float on the surface in clumps. Occasionally, like Spanish moss, these weeds will also flower.
This lily pad-like plant is invasive to the Louisiana area. In fact, it originated from South America and thrives in warm, humid climates similar to its home ecosystem. Salvinia also floats on the water’s surface and creates a sturdy mat for small reptiles to maneuver over.
Spider lilies are also invasive to American swamplands, though they learned to thrive in the warm marches along the Gulf coast. These perennial flowers can grow to about two or three feet high. They come in either red or white with long, curling peddles that resemble a spider’s legs.
For a look at these species and more, head out on a swamp tour during your next visit to Louisiana. At Wild Louisiana Tours, we strive to make each kayak swamp tour an enriching experience for all, whether this involves meeting some of the local wildlife or studying the beautiful vegetation.