Scrubby Field Trip

Florida Scrub is an upland habitat mostly consisting of relic sand dunes. As sea levels rose and fell over tens of thousands of years, Florida scrub can be found in many places, from near the Atlantic to the Highlands in the central peninsula. Naturalist and educator Steve Bass led the local (Cocoplum) chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society on a tour of Florida Scrub at Seabranch Preserve State Park, conveniently located only a few miles from me.

The photo of a creek on the park’s Website is misleading, as most of the park looks much different.

Steve Bass and group

It was chilly when we started the field trip at 9 a.m.

Seabranch Preserve State Park

On first entering the park, you see the main road. This photo more closely depicts the terrain.

The predominant vegetation in South Florida Scrub habitat consists of scrubby oaks and Slash pines. The next three photos show Myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia) buds, flowers and leaves.

Oak bud

Oak flowers

Myrtle oak leaves

(Larger image of leaves)

Here and there you may find a Red maple. (Larger image)

Red maple leaf

Over thousands of years, slightly acidic rainwater (because of dissolved carbon dioxide) leaches minerals out of the sand, carrying them beneath the surface. The ants who live here have mined some of that mineral-rich sand and returned it to the surface.

Ant hill

Wind and rain constantly modify the environment.

Weather-beaten dead tree

Weather-beaten dead tree

I was told this was a red lecchia (sp?) but I can’t find it in any field guide.

Red plant

A Partridge pea (Cassia chameaecrista).

Partridge pea

A Lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) with its egg case, on a Rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides, not the herb) shrub. (Larger image)

Lynx spider

Comments are closed.