• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

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  • Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Closures

    All park sites except Chalmette Battlefield/Chalmette National Cemetery closed Tuesday, November 11, for Veterans Day. All park sites closed on Thanksgiving, November 27. Follow the link for more on park hours and days. More »


A bee hovers near a purple iris while yellow flowers bloom in the background
The yellow flowers----called butterweed or yellowtop----are easy to spot in the preserve in spring. The once abundant wild irises nearly disappeared but are now making a comeback; find out why below.

South Louisiana's long growing season and abundant rain means it's a great place to be a plant. The Barataria Preserve contains three major plant systems: hardwood forest, swamp, and marsh, and is a good place to see over 400 species of plants.

In the spring, the wildflowers fill every corner of the Barataria Preserve, although the giant blue iris population was greatly reduced for several years (find out why here and read about their comeback). The freshwater marsh turns bright green in the summertime, forming a complex system of reeds, sedges, grasses, and shrubs. Fall in the preserve brings the bright crimson of swamp (red) maples and the brilliant yellow of burmarigolds. Even in the winter, many plants stay green.

Barataria Plants

Chalmette Plants

Fall Wildflowers of Barataria

Spring Wildflowers of Barataria


If you want to get into keying out a species, or looking a little further afield than the Preserve, check out this resource from the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website and "Southern Wetland Flora" by Robert H. Mohlenbrock.

Did You Know?

Men dressed as 1815 soldiers march across Chalmette Battlefield.

Two volunteer battalions of free men of color fought in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. These men were the first black American troops to receive pay, equipment, pensions, and bounty land grants equal to that of their white counterparts.