Almost all of the tropical trees that occur naturally in southern Florida are also found in the West Indies. Most species occur in hardwood hammocks, and only a few in mangrove swamps (four species including buttonwood) and freshwater wetlands (two species). Seeds of the hammock species are commonly carried by birds.
West Indian mahogany is an example of a wind-dispersed species, having winged seeds.
The mangroves, as well as many other coastal wetland plants, have floating seeds and were dispersed to Florida via ocean currents.