A Guide to PA Wetland Plant Identification

A Guide to PA Wetland Plant Identification

What is a PA Wetland?

A wetland is an area of land covered by water for some or all year. They include swamps, marshes, and bogs. Wetlands are habitats for many different plants, animals, and insects.

This guide will teach you about the plants found in PA wetlands. Fill your Garden with these beautiful plants to support local wildlife and help keep your garden healthy.

River Oats

River oats are a type of grass that thrives in wet environments. River oats are often found in floodplains, marshes, and swamp forests. These seeds can be eaten by humans or fed to livestock as hay. River oats also produce long flowers that attract pollinating insects and support wildlife habitats.


The bulrush is a plant that grows in wetland areas, specifically those covered by water all year. The bulrush has long, thin leaves and can grow up to six feet tall. It produces a long stalk with fluffy seeds on top when it flowers.

Bulrushes are helpful because they provide animal food and help keep the wetlands healthy. They also absorb excess carbon dioxide from the air.

Mountain Mint

Mountain mint is an herbaceous perennial plant in the family of Lamiaceae. It grows 8-18 inches tall, with a fuzzy stem and small leaves. Leaves are evergreen and can be purple, green, or variegated, depending on the variety. Flowers grow in clusters of white and pink blooms from late spring to fall. Mountain mint is native to eastern Canada and the eastern half of the US.

Spike Rush

Spike rush is found in freshwater and saltwater marshes. It can grow up to 8 inches and has a brownish-green color. They provide food for birds, mammals, reptiles, and pollinating insects.

Water Willow

Water willow is a common Wetland Plant often found in the shallows of streams and rivers. Their leaves are long and narrow, with a pointy tip that makes them look like a willow tree. You can identify it by its greenish flowers that grow on stalks about 6 inches long.


A wetland is a portion of land (usually flooded) where water is the main factor in creating or modifying the environment. Wetlands are a valuable resource for animals, plants, and people.