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The Everglades is a region in the southern tip of Florida that is home to a unique ecosystem. The unique ecosystem has given rise to a unique group of flora and fauna. The plants in the Everglades, for example, have had to adapt to the very wet, subtropical environment. There are some well-recognized Everglades plants such as the mangrove forests and the sawgrass marshes. Mangroves and sawgrass, however, are just a few of the vast array of Everglades plants.
One of the largest groups of Everglades plants includes species that live in the marshes. These plants are, quite suitably, referred to as "marsh species". What makes these plants unique is that they live in the water most of the time. The well-known sawgrass is one of the plants in this category. Other plants in this group include the spatterdock, bladderwort, white water lily, and maidencane. In addition to plants that grow out of the water or float just above its surface such as the four plants just listed, there are also unique species of algae in the region.
Many orchid enthusiasts make a point to visit the Everglades simply to seek out the unique varieties of orchids that exist there. The Everglades are also home to large groups of bromeliads and ferns. Orchids, bromeliads, and ferns do not grow in the water. Rather, they grow on hammocks or tree islands. These plants thrive in the hot, incredibly humid conditions that are offered by the unique Everglades ecosystem.
As mentioned above, one of the key plants in the Everglades is the mangrove. A mangrove is a kind of tree that grows up and out of the water. It has a root system that is partially visible above the water but also extends deep under the water. Numerous varieties of this kind of tree grow in the Everglades, and they are important because they serve as a buffer between the freshwater marshes and the saltier coastal waters. Mangroves are also important because they help to build soil as they grow and decompose. Their root systems also help to reduce soil erosion.
Some plants, like the mangrove trees, are important proctors of the Everglades. Other Everglades plants, like many of the orchid species, simply rely on the ecosystem for their own survival. This unique ecosystem is as delicate as it is beautiful and all of the Everglades plants are an important part of both its beauty and its stability.