Taxodium distichum A giant among trees, the bald cypress is an imposing sight. Unlike its relative the pond cypress, it prefers growing along water in motion, such as rivers, streams, and sluggish swamps. Some of […]
The flora found along Florida’s trails is unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the United States – and that’s just the native species. From columbine and trillium found in Appalachian like valleys in the Florida Panhandle to tropical trees of Caribbean origin throughout South Florida, our botanical diversity is one of the best reasons to explore Florida’s trails.
Avicennia germinans Black mangroves have shiny leaves and dark round seed cases. Their most distinguishing feature is their pnuemataphores, finger-like protrusions around the tree like slender, miniature cypress knees. The northernmost extent of black mangroves […]
Sabal palmetto The state tree of Florida, the cabbage palm (also called sabal palm) is an iconic symbol found in almost every habitat in Florida except scrub forests.
Large puffy lichens, such as pale greenish-gray Cladina evansii and yellowish Cladina subtenuis are lumped under the colloquial name of deer moss. Like the smaller lichens of this species, these plants become brittle when dry, […]
Florida rosemary is not related to the edible herb rosemary, which is in the mint family. In an odd adaptation to its harsh, desert-like environment, the rosemary bush releases a natural herbicide into the sand […]
Caesalpinia bonduc Flowering mounds of gray nickerbean are found along the tropical coastal habitats of Florida. The beans float away with the tide and are polished by the waves, appearing as “sea beans” on other […]
Pinus palustris To cope with the frequent lightning-sparked fires that rage across sandhills and pine flatwoods, the longleaf pine has a thick, protected fire-resistant stem during the first five years of its life, while it […]
Rhizophora mangle Red mangroves are the easiest to identify due to their “walking legs” root systems. Note the bean-pod-like “roots” at their bases— these are miniature mangroves spawning, fully formed plants waiting to float off […]
Acer rubrum Also known as the swamp maple, the red maple is one of the more common large trees found in Florida’s floodplain forests. It’s by far the most colorful, too, sporting bright crimson leaves […]
Batis maritima The thick succulent leaves of saltwort are commonly seen along coastal fringes and mangrove forests. Used as a medicinal herb and as a tea, saltwort is thought to relieve asthma, constipation, and gout.
Ficus aurea When the seeds of a strangler fig are dropped into the top of a cabbage palm by a bird, they germinate as an epiphyte, sending dozens of tendril-like roots plummeting towards the ground. […]
One of the easier trees to pick out while walking through the hardwood forests of the Appalachians, the tulip poplar has distinctive tulip-blossom shaped leaves and a large and extremely showy flower that we’ve been […]