Seagrasses

Did you know that not only does grass grow on land but also in water? This kind of grass is called sea grass. There are seven types of seagrasses, three of which you can find on St. Maarten. These are: turtle grass, manatee grass and paddle grass.

Image of Turtle GrassThe scientific name of turtle grass is Thalassia testudinum, the largest and most robust seagrass in the Caribbean. It is also the most abundant seagrass of the Caribbean. The leaves look like ribbons.

 

 

The scientific name of manatee grass is Syringodium filiforme. Manatee grassImage of Manatee Grass has cylindrical leaves and likes to grow in meadows with other types of grasses.

 

 

 

Image of Paddle GrassPaddle grass is scientifically known as Halophila. There are three species of Halophila of which scientists donít know very much about. The leaves have a slightly serrated edge, like that of a bread knife.

Seagrasses grow in salt water in calm bays and lagoons like Great Bay and Simpsonbay Lagoon. Because these plants need sunlight for synthesis you will find them in shallow areas usually no more than 20 meters (33 feet) deep.

Seagrasses belong to the family of flowering plants so their complete life cycle that includes pollination all happens underwater.

CONTINUE: The Importance of Seagrass»