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Things To Do in Jupiter: Plants to See While Paddling

a group of people kayaking


Sweet smelling swamp lilys, creepy Spanish moss, prehistoric air plants and stumpy cypress knees — figuring them out is part of the mystery and fun when you paddle with Jupiter Outdoor Center on the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River,
Following are a few of nature’s attractions before your Things To Do in Jupiter trip. Your paddling pals will be impressed with your knowledge.
a green plant in a garden
Sweet smelling and elegant, swamp lilies look like starbursts along the banks of the Lox.
The plants, which grow up to three feet tall, love the full sun and growing in wet soil.
While smelling and looking good is fine, it has its downside.
Insects like grasshoppers and flies love to snack on swamp lillies.
Take your time checking out these plants, one of the most educational Things To Do in Jupiter.
a tree in a forest
Air plants are nature’s hitch hikers, hooking on to other plants for a ride.
But they actually are pretty good guests.
After all, they don’t ask their host for much.
They don’t require soil to grow.
Air plants are not parasites, unlike the strangling fig tree.
They don’t require food from their host.
Air plants feed themselves by collecting moisture and food fibers from the air.
You almost have to be a nature detective to find the airplants – -mysterious method as a one of the Things To Do in Jupiter.


a tree in a forest
Creepy, droopy and mysterious, paddling under Spanish moss is like hearing the scary music in a horror movie.
Also known as grey beard and tree hair, the springy greenish stuff loves hanging over the branches of the live oaks and bald cypress trees common along the Lox River.
Clumps of Spanish moss are hotels for biodiversity, a spooky Things To Do in Jupiter.
Insects, three species of bats, frogs, lizards, snakes and more live inside the stuff.
Birds like yellow-throated warblers and northern parulas make their nests during the spring and summer.
And there is one species of spider that can only be found living in Spanish moss.


a tree next to a body of water
Cypress knees — what do they do all day?
Scientists are stumped by this Things To Do in Jupiter.
Some calculate the knobby nubs that grow around the base of the trees serve as anchors to keep the tree in place. After all, take a look around the Lox. There’s many cypress trees 50 feet high and higher.
Collecting oxygen is the reason the the knees, say other scientists.
Nah, scoff more scientists. The knees give the root system access to air.
And why are they called knees?
Scientists think they got this one.
The real name for the gadgets is pneumatophores.
Knees, for short.
You know, like the short cut for Bartholomew.
a close up of a pond of water
About the size of tennis balls, these flowers grow in clumps of lily pads on the surface of the Lox River, looking like yellow dandelions on your front lawn.
The good news is that water lilies leaves keep light from the water. That helps to control algae growth.
The water lilies are common on the Loxahatchee River. They are one of the many up close Things To Do in Jupiter.
The bad news is if they cover too much of the surface they can actually prevent oxygenation.
This can suffocate fish and other plants.
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