Elephant grass afraid of mouse-sized water

Just how big is Fakahatchee Strand?

Even the grass that lines the road to get there is giant.


This is no ordinary sawgrass
which technically is a sedge (and not a grass at all) …

But rather a non-native intruder, although not all that invasive:

Better known as Elephant Grass.

My initial guess was sugar cane,
Perhaps an errant wind had blown it in …

Long ago a ranger once cut open a stalk of wild growing cane for me to taste (remarkably sweet) and I’ve seen it used as a wind break between vegetable crops in nearby farms.


Climbing up high to look over it,

I was reassured to see it stayed close to the lime rock road:

As tall as Elephant Grass grows,
it’s quixotically skittish of the deeper-watered
marl prairie that lies beyond.


That reminds me in a way of
of how deeper-water loving hyacinth (also an exotic)
can clogging up a canal completely …

But won’t budge even an inch into that very same marl prairie,

Not because it’s too deep but rather too shallow instead.

That sort of sums up the marl prairies:

Too wet for upland plants,
And too dry for aquatics.

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