What Makes a Freshwater Wetland?
1. Water source = hydrology
2. Water-loving plants = hydrophytes
3. Presence of wet or hydric soils
Wetland or "hydric" soils exhibit different characteristics than upland soils because they are waterlogged for such long periods. Some hydric soils are organic rich because wetland plant material cannot breakdown in the wet environment. Other hydric soils have gray or mottled colors because of long term wetness. Scientists use soils to help identify the limits of wetlands.
Common Wetland Plants
(Click on thumbnails for larger images)
Blue Flag Iris
Jack in the Pulpit
White Water Lily