Types of Grasses

Types of grasses formally include species commonly known as trees. A few of the most prolific grasses in Florida wetland areas are listed below.


Some Types of Common Grasses

Brazilian Pepper Tree

Non-native to Florida, Brazilian pepper trees can grow over 30 feet tall and is an aggressive invader that will out-compete the native vegetation in the area. This plant should not be spread.  Leaves are bright green, has red berries, a short trunk, and hidden branches.  Brazilian pepper tree is related to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. It can be found along shores and in woody areas. 


Native to Florida, cattails often grow to cover large areas of wetlands, lakes, and rivers; reaching 5 to 6 feet tall.


Melaleuco trees, aka punk trees or paperbark tea trees, are non-native to Florida. The trees grow into forests and virtually eliminate all other vegetation.  Its bark is whitish, spongy, peeling, and in many layers.  Leaves are 5” long.

Para Grass

Non-native in Florida, para grass, can reach 8 feet in height with hairy nodes and sheaths. Leaf blades are 4 to 12 inches long and ½” wide.


Torpedograss is non-native to Florida and is one of the most serious weeds. It grows in or near shallow waters where it can quickly displace native vegetation.  Torpedograss has sharply pointed tips, grows up to 3’ tall, hairy leaf sheaths; leaf blades are stiff, linear, flat or folded; surface often waxy or whitish coating.


Primrose Willow

Primrose willow is an evergreen shrub, 3’-12’ tall, multi-stemmed with large yellow flowers that grow in areas such as ditches, drainage canals, wet clearings, and marshy shores.  



Phragmites also known as common reed, is a perennial aggressive wetland grass that displaces native animals and chokes out native plants. It is easy to spot by its height and distinct fluffy seed heads.


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