The great naturalist William Bartram recorded the word hammock in his journal in 1765. In Florida it refers to a low hillock or knoll rising above level ground. Sometimes the word is used interchangeably with hummock, which means elevated ground in a swamp—clumps of trees on soil surrounded by water. But hammock refers more particularly to a boss of soil or rock that rises on level dry ground. Hammocks are often knolls of hardwoods standing above the level plain of a sawgrass prairie or in a pine forest (called flatwoods) in the southeastern United States, and especially in the St. Johns River area of northern Florida.

Robert Morgan