Seagrasses are flowering plants that live underwater. They can dominate shallow coastal areas, forming seagrass beds or meadows.

Seagrasses photosynthezise like terrestrial plants. Their pollen is transported by water between plants. The flowers are small.

They require high levels of sunlight, in some cases 25 times more light than land bassed plants!

In Bocas del Toro they are found growing in the sandy, flat areas around the islands.

Seagrass beds also serve as nurseries for young fish, add oxygen to the water and stabilize the ocean bottom by trapping sediments. Seagrass meadows are important element in the dynamics between mangroves and coral reefs. When seagrass is found between both of them, they create a buffer zone that keeps sediments and excess of nutrients from the mangroves from affecting the reef benefitting reef growth and productivity.

Seagrasses in Bocas:
- Halodule wrightii (Shoal-grass). Is an early colonizer of disturbed areas and usually grows in water to shallow for the other species.
- Halophila decipiens (Paddle-grass). Requires less light than other species and can grow in depper water or with more sediments.
- Thalassia testudinum (Turtle-grass). The most common of the Caribbean seagrasses, has deeper root structures than any of the others.
- Syringodium filiforme (Manatee-grass). Is early recognizable because its leaves are cylindrical. It is the preferred by the manatees.

(Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Bocas del Toro)