Some of the common wetland plants include reed, cord grass, pond weed, bladderwort and lesser duckweed. Other plants are the common rush, sedge, jewel weed, fern and cattail. Cypress, spruce, swamp rose and alder are also prevalent. Wetland plants provide food to animals, reduce erosion and remove pollutants from water.
Wetland plants, otherwise known as hydrophytes, are adapted to the hydrological conditions and water-logged soils. ForestandRange.org classifies wetland plants as emergent, submerged, scrub-shrub, floating-leaved, trees and floating types.
The emergent plants’ roots are immersed in the water while their leaves are aerial, and they include water horsetail and blue marsh violet. The submerged plants spend their entire life cycle under the water, and include water weed, water milfoil, water nymph and pond weed. Scrub-shrubs have strong stems, and the most common types are buttonbush and spicebush. The floating-leaved plants are anchored in the substrate, and common examples include water shield, mosquito fern, lily and water meal.
Trees also survive in wetlands, while other plants float over the water with no connection to the substrate, according to ForestandRange.org. For wetland plants to survive, they require a permanent or semi-permanent supply of water, but some are able to tolerate long dry periods. Some of the plants that thrive in ephemeral wetlands are the river red glum, sneezeweed, sharp spike sedge, black box and lignum.
Wetland plants play a critical role in the ecology of the watershed, as they provide animals with breeding, nursery and resting sites, observes the Washington State Department of Ecology.