Kansas Plants – Wetlands

The Kansas wetlands are rich in biodiversity and wildlife vegetation. Many types of wetland plants can be found in that area. Wetlands are areas in which there is a highly developed ecosystem, and external disturbances like pollution and invasive species can cause a great deal of damage. Wetlands are considered to be among the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. Knowing what plants exist in Kansas’ wetlands can help preserve them. Working to preserve wetlands helps to keep the environment functioning and healthy.

Kansas Plants - Wetlands

Wetland Trees in Kansas

Wetlands are areas in which there is a large amount of water in the soil throughout the year, or on a seasonal basis. Wildlife vegetation that grows in wetlands must be able to withstand a greater amount of soil moisture and still grow and reproduce effectively. The biodiversity of wetlands includes a large number of tree species.

The Kansas wetland areas have a number of tree species that grow well in the higher moisture. These tree species include elm, hazelnut, plum, sycamore, bitternut hickories, black cherry, black locust, black walnut and many other types of trees. These trees provide habitats and food for many of the animals that can be found living in wetland ecosystems in Kansas.

Trees are an essential part of many ecosystems. Their roots help provide some soil stability, and their structures are shelter for many bird species that find food and mates in wetlands.

Annual Plant Species in the Kansas Wetlands

Annual plants are common in wetlands, where they grow quickly for a season before spreading their seeds and dying. Many species of wildflower are annuals that can grow well in soil with higher water content.

Nearly four hundred species of annual plants are listed as being wetland plants in southeast Kansas. Some of these plants include clovers, bellflowers, bluegrass, cut leaf evening primrose, dwarf St. John’s wort, ragweed, vetch, foxglove, cinquefoil and many other species of annual plants. (Source: USDA Wetland Indicator Status on Annual Plants)

Annual plants need to have their environments conserved in order to grow successfully. Each species of annual plants must reestablish its presence each year, and the severe changes in wetlands caused by human activity can be very disruptive to the growth of many wildflowers and annual plants.

Perennial Plant Species in the Kansas Wetlands

Perennial plants are also common in southeastern wetlands in Kansas. Almost a thousand perennial plants grow in Kansas’ wetlands. Some of these species include blackberries, licorice, lotus, water plantain, white water lily, black-eyed Susan, buttercup, calico aster, Carolina rose, downy yellow violet, evening rain lily and many others. (Source: USDA Wetland Indicator Status on Perennial Plants)

Perennial plants grow for a number of years, becoming dormant in winter and beginning growth again in spring. Perennial plants are very susceptible to environmental change, as they grow in the same place each year. Young perennials are easy to kill or trample, and reducing the number of species growing can affect the biodiversity of the Kansas wetland areas.

Many Kansas plant enthusiasts and environmental conservationists make an effort to preserve the habitats of annual plant species to allow them to continue growing. Environmental pollution, deforestation and the development of land, including draining wetlands, all affect the growing area of wetland plants.

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