Having discussed what is plants, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, and birds are invasive to the Everglades and the coastal parts of South Florida and the damage they are causing, we now we are going to take a look at what is good for the areas.

As before we are going to start with native plant species, which include the following:

Bromeliad
Cacti
Succulents
Grasses
Lichens
Marine Plants/Algae
Orchids
Different tree barks

Let’s get started with Bromeliads.

Bromeliads

Bromeliads are found throughout Everglades National Park and several varieties are native to Florida. They reach their highest diversity in the tropics of Central and South America. All are members of the pineapple family. And include both non-parasitic plants (plants that grow on other plants such as the cardinal airplant and terrestrial species that take root in the ground, like the pineapple.

Most of the bromeliads you see in the Everglades are in the Tillandsia family. From the top, the most of the Tillandsias look like a pineapple. The Spanish moss species is different in that it forms cascading colonies made up of thousands of interconnected individual plants. Both species have silvery green leaves. In the park, you will also find one species of Guzmania and two of the Catopsis. Due to their soft, bright green leaves, they all stand out.

The dwarf cypress forests and cypress domes make excellent habitats for the airplants, and also common in the interior of hardwood hammocks, tree islands, and the mangrove forests. Bromeliads are also residents of lone trees in the middle of sawgrass marshes and other wetlands.

The giant airplant catch and hold water as a way of dealing with dry conditions. This, in turn, provides a nearly continuous water source used by a wide range of animals. If you take a careful look down into the leaf bases you may see a tree frog, mosquito larvae, centipedes or even a snake.

Bromeliads that don’t hold water are home to acrobat ants. It is thought the ant waste provides nutrients for the bromeliad and the bromeliad provides shelter for the ants.

Unfortunately for insects trying to get water at the bottom of the leaf base from the Catopsis don’t fare as well. A Catopsis’ leaves are covered with fine, loosely attached scales, which causes the insects to lose their grip, slip into the water and drown. Some researchers have hypothesized that the powdery Catopsis may be a carnivorous plant.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This