Wetland and aquatic plants are crucial to Florida's ecology. Aquatic plants can nourish the animals that live in or near the lake and add visual appeal to a lake setting. However, these plants can also cause water use and ecological issues. Plants are a food source for fish and other forms of wildlife. They also enhance the clarity of water and stabilize lake sediments and shorelines.
If you're interested in aquatic planting in Florida, you should learn about quick-growing plant species and whether these plants are healthy for Florida's lake-centric environment.
Algae and Vascular Plants
Aquatic plants are divided into two main groups: algae and vascular plants. Algae is composed of chains of attached cells or single cells, and vascular plants have distinct, flowers, stems, roots and leaves, with the exception of ferns.
Algae are single cells in the water that float freely and are known as phytoplankton. Mat-forming algae are known as filamentous algae. Phytoplankton are often too small to be seen by the naked eye. However, the presence of phytoplankton can make the water appear brown or green. These plants are also a source of food for small organisms, and these smaller organisms are what waterfowl and fish eat. Phytoplankton is also essential for oxygen production in a water environment which is needed for fish to breathe.
Vascular plants are also categorized by their growth patterns and where they grow at various depths in the lake. Emergent plants grow along the shoreline, in shallow water. These plants are rooted at the base and grow above the water. Submersed plants grow in deeper parts of the water and are often rooted to the bottom of the lake, so they remain under the surface. Floating-leaved plants are bottom-rooted and have leaves attached under the water. The leaves are seen from the water's surface, and some leaves are underwater. Floating plants float on the water's surface and can grow anywhere in the lake.
These plants are sturdy plants that grow along the shore. Arrowheads have huge leaves that grow upright. The stalks are strong at the top and have a spongy consistency at the base. Arrowhead stalks flower all summer long and yield flowers in whorls near the top of the plant. There are three white petals for each flower which are thin and delicate, similar to confetti. One popular arrowhead type in Florida is the bulltongue arrowhead, which got its name for its elliptic, slim shape and leaves that point to the sky. Bulltongue arrowheads continue to thrive in both dry and wet climates, which is why they develop so well in Florida.
Broadleaf arrowheads are a little different from the Bulltongue variety and have triangle-shaped lobes at the bottom of the leaves, which gives the leaves an arrow-like shape.
Spikerush, which is also called needlegrass, isn't a grass or rush. It's actually a sedge that grows similar to straw, and has an olive color. The plant leans from side to side in the marsh and has circular stems that grow as tall as 30 inches. The stem tips develop very small braided rows of blooms that turn into tan seed heads as they mature. Spikerush plants have stems that grow underground and spread throughout the bottom of the lake to produce several round tubers. The plants are the ideal habitat for ducks since they provide a camouflaged cover and food from the seeds and tubers. The Florida mottled duck, a mallard that doesn't migrate, is known to eat the Spikerush seed.
For more information on aquatic planting in Florida, call 914-479-7811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill out a pricing request form for additional details.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.