• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana


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 are now a rare treat; 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 has been greatly reduced in the last few years (find out why here). 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 fire cannon.

January 8 used to be a national holiday. That's because January 8, 1815, was the date of the Battle of New Orleans.