Hardwood hammocks are found on slightly elevated bedrock areas. Hammocks look a bit like a tropical forest due to the rich diversity of ferns, epiphytes, lichens and vines that grow in their sheltered interior. Oaks, wild tamarind, cabbage palms, maple and saw palmetto are often found.
Because the densest part of a hardwood hammock is in the canopy overhead you will find that they are easy to explore on the ground. The thick canopy creates an intense shade that keeps it cooler in the summer and has a higher humidity in the winter. It is hard for plants to grow at ground level because they are unable to get enough light.
Hammocks have a hydroperiod of about 10-45 days a year. The plants in the hammock provide food and shelter to many different organisms including the Florida panther, which likes to lounge in the shade of the tall trees during the day and the Florida black bear that like to forage for saw palmetto berries and cabbage palm hearts.