• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area


    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Plants of the Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands

Back to Plants

Plants have colonized many habitat types, including systems dominated by water such as rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Plants living in wetlands must be able to survive both inundation and drying as water levels may fluctuate greatly seasonally. Other plants are adapted to live predominantely beneath the water's surface (submergent), others float on the surface (floating), while others emerge from water with stiff stems holding the plants leaves above the water (emergent).

The gradation from deep water to dry uplands is not always clear as rivers may inundate uplands during floods, water tables may rise and fall, and seeps on hillsides sometimes provide suitable habitat for wetland plant species. Plants growing in water may also have to survive the scouring effects of floating ice during the spring floods.

Plants of the Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands


Eastern Cottonwood
Silver Maple

Grasses and Sedges

Prairie Cord Grass
Pointed Broom Sedge
Awl Fruited Sedge
Foxtail Sedge
Fox Sedge


Spotted Jewelweed
Blue Vervain
Marsh Marigold

Skunk Cabbage

Invasive Species
Reed Canary Grass, Purple Loosestrife

Visit a River, Lake, and Wetland: Crosby Farm Regional Park, Fort Snelling State Park, Coon Rapids Regional Park (East and West) and the Lake Rebecca/Hastings River Flats Park area all have good access to wetlands, floodplain ponds, and the Mississippi River.

Did You Know?