Emergent marshes often occur as a narrow zone at the margin of a sheltered lake or pond where there is standing water up to 3 or 4 feet deep.
Marshes are usually dominated by cattails or bulrushes (see descriptions of emergent bulrush and emergent cattail marshes on later pages), with a small number of other plant species intermixed.
When a marsh has a large number of different plant species, but is not clearly dominated by any one, it is called a mixed emergent marsh. This is probably the most diverse emergent plant community, and will include species like Broad-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), water parsnip (Sium suave), and lake sedge (Carex lacustris).
This community type occurs on gently sloping bottoms of sand, gravel or silt. It is very sensitive to wave action, so it will not do well on the east shore of a large lake, or other sites where high waves are frequent.