Plant Index
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A Guide to the Wildflowers
of Twin Swamps Nature Preserve

From the Boardwalk

Flower photos
By season
By habitat
By color

After the muddy trek through the woods, the cypress swamp boardwalk provides a welcome resting spot.
The light is subdued and the quiet calling of birds and frogs is very peaceful.

The picture at right was taken from the raised platform at the end of the boardwalk. Unfortunately, a windstorm later toppled the swamp cottonwood in the foreground.

The ominous-looking creature above is a harmless "eyed click beetle" who showed up on the deck one day.


Prothonotary warblers and many other birds are often seen from the boardwalk. This one (possibly a juvenile?) has an odd black mark on his brow. At left is featherfoil (Hottonia inflata), an aquatic plant that is endangered in Indiana. Featherfoil can be seen from the boardwalk, but while it is abundant in some years it may be nonexistent in others.

The late afternoon sun casts an eerie light on the duckweed-covered swamp.

The seed of the cottonwood trees floats through the air on fluffy white puffs of "cotton." The buttressed tree in the foreground at left is actually a bald cypress

These odd and fantastic splotches of color were seen floating on the dark swamp water on a late winter day. We wondered if there had been an oil spill, but no. It turns out that a microscopic bacteria known as Leptothrix grows in colonies on the water. The colony of bacteria forms a thin film that creates an optical illusion similar to oil in a puddle.

When the light is right, you can see the fallen leaves and cypress needles at the bottom of the shallow swamp.

Toward the end of June, watch for the swamp roses (Rosa palustris) to bloom on a bush along the boardwalk.

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