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.
It was chilly when we started the field trip at 9 a.m.
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.
Here and there you may find a Red maple. (Larger image)
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.
Wind and rain constantly modify the environment.
I was told this was a red lecchia (sp?) but I can’t find it in any field guide.
A Partridge pea (Cassia chameaecrista).