The Marshall Hampton Reserve is composed of 3 kinds of plant communities, pine flatwoods, live-oak hammocks and swamp forest. Pine flatwoods is characterized by longleaf pine, Pinus palustris in central Florida or slash pine, Pinus elliottii in south Florida and an understory predominantly of saw palmetto, Serenoa repens. The pines are shade intolerant and require fire to maintain the system. Some herbaceous flowering plants are rattlesnake master, Eryngium yuccifolium, large-flower milkweed, Asclepias connivens and elephant’s foot, Elephantopus elatus. Pine flatwoods also have a hardpan 8 to 10 feet below the surface. The live oak hammock forms a canopy and is dominated by live oaks, Quercus virginiana and their epiphytes Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, resurrection fern, Pleopeltis polypodioides and butterfly orchid, Encyclia tampensis and the terrestrial plant beggerweed, Desmodium incanum. The swamp forests is found bordering north Lake Hancock and is composed of conifers, bald cypress, Taxodium distichum and hardwoods, black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, red maple, Acer rubrum and water oak, Quercus nigra, Virginia willow, Itea viriginica. Herbaceous plants are leather flower, Clematis crispa and mazus, Mazus pumilus.