Florida is the only place in the United States you’ll encounter mangroves, and along the southwestern coast, they dominate as coastal vegetation.
Mangroves grow along the Gulf Coast south from Cedar Key and the Atlantic Coast from the Mantanzas River south of St. Augustine, and their roots are instrumental in trapping soil that builds up into islands within the tidal zone. Their leaf litter makes for a vibrant nursery ground for many saltwater species. While black mangroves grow the farthest north up both peninsular coasts, you’ll frequently see all species together as you move farther south. To tell them apart, check the roots first.