Native Plant Communities

Prairie Hammock

Prairie hammocks are poorly drained forested areas often surrounded by open prairies. Substrates may vary from sandy to organic soil over marl or a limestone substrate. Most are in peninsular Florida.  Dominant species include live oak and/or cabbage palm.

Prairie Hammocks are assocated with frequent, light fires.

Prairie Hammocks are common in the floodplains of the St. Johns River and the Kissimmee River where surrounding marshlands burned.  They are also common in Picayune Strand and at Myakka River State Park.


Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 1992. Soil and Water Relationships of Florida's Ecological Communities

Duever, Linda. 1988 (Summer). Florida's Natural Communities: Mesic Hammock. The Palmetto 8, #2:4-5.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). 2010. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

Knight, G. R., J. B. Oetting, and L. Cross.  2011.  Atlas of Florida's Natural Heritage - Biodiversity, Landscapes, Stewardship and Opportunities:  Institute of Science and Public Affairs, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Myers, R.L. and J.J. Ewel (eds.). 1990. Ecosystems of Florida University of Central Florida Press: Orlando.

USDA Soil Conservation Service. 1986. 26 Ecological Communities of Florida.

Whitney, E.N., D. B. Means, A. Rudloe. 2004. Priceless Florida: Natural Ecosystems and Native Species. Pineapple Press.

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Prairie hammock in Picayune Strand area.  Hydrology has been altered.


Hammock at Ft. Drum WMA by Shirley Denton.  The groundcover has largely been eliminated by hog rooting.


Prairie Hammock from above.  Myakka River State Park.