The flora found along Florida’s trails is unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the United States, and that’s just the native species.
From columbine and trillium found in Appalachian-like valleys in the Florida Panhandle to tropical trees of Caribbean origin throughout South Florida, our botanical diversity is one of the best reasons to explore Florida’s trails.
Just a few inches of elevation change affects the habitats that surround you, as does the way that water flows across the landscape.
This visual guide is to introduce you to Florida’s diverse flora, including both common and unusual plants that you may encounter while you are enjoying our trails.
Trees Grasses Mosses Shrubs Vines Wildflowers
Mangroves in Florida
Nowhere else in the continental United States can you find mangrove trees. Here’s how to tell the difference between the species you see in Florida.
Black mangroves have shiny leaves and dark round seed cases. Their most distinguishing feature is their pnuemataphores, finger-like protrusions around the tree like slender, miniature cypress knees.
Buttonwood grows upland, on the land side of the mangrove community, tolerant of rooting in loose sand, rock, and dried marl.
Red mangroves are the easiest of the mangroves to identify due to their “walking legs” root systems. Note the bean-pod-like “roots” at their bases: these are miniature mangroves spawning, fully formed plants waiting to float off with the next high tide.
White mangroves are the most tree-like of the mangrove family. They have oval light green leaves—the other mangroves have dark green, elliptical leaves.
Trees in Florida
Identifying trees in Florida, including cypresses, pines, oaks, and many other species found in Florida.
Grasses in Florida
Grasses that grow naturally in Florida habitats.
Mosses and Lichens
Mosses and Lichens commonly seen in Florida habitats.
Shrubs, including flowering, seen in Florida habitats.
Vines, including flowering, commonly seen in Florida habitats.
Wildflowers in Florida
More Florida plants that don’t fit into the above categories.
Discover locations where you can see particular plants and trees in Florida
See the biggest trees in Florida
Find pitcher plant bogs and prairies
See where you can explore a tropical forest
See where you can find mangroves
See the best spots for wildflowers