photo rosemary scrub
Rosemary Scrub


Scrub occurs on deep, well-drained white and yellow sands.
Two types of scrub are found on Lake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area: oak scrub and rosemary scrub. Both are fire dependent, although the interval between fires may range from 10 to more than 100 years.

Oak scrub has moderate to dense growth of sand pine with lack of fire. The understory is a thick combination of scrub oaks, rusty lyonia, and silkbay. Rosemary scrub is dominated by scrub rosemary and scrub oaks.

photo of paw paw in scrubby flatwoods
Paw paw in scrubby flatwoods

Rosemary scrub is usually found as small islands within larger areas of scrubby flatwoods. Many scrub endemic plants such as Highlands scrub, St. Johns wort, scrub blazing star, and Ashe's savory are found in rosemary scrub.


Scrubby Flatwoods

Scrubby flatwoods occur on well-drained, white sands at slightly lower elevation than sand pine scrub. Some pines occur but these communities are usually dominated by sand live oak, especially if fire is suppressed.

Scrubby flatwoods contain many endemic plants including scrub pawpaw, scrub holly, scrub bay and Archbold oak. Some of these areas have been converted to Bahia grass pastures, and are now characterized by scattered oaks and palmettos growing among cactus and grasses.


photo flatwoods


Flatwoods have an overstory of longleaf pine and Southern slash pine and an understory consisting of wiregrass, cutthroat grass, saw palmetto, gallberry, and ferns. On many parcels flatwoods have degraded due to lack of fire, producing dense stands of pines that pose a greater risk for wildfires.



photo of bayheads


Bayheads are dense strands of bay trees growing in organic, often inundated soils.  Around the edges of bayheads, the understory is usually a thick growth of gallberry and palmetto.



Depression Marshes and Seasonal Ponds

photo depression marsh
Depression marsh

photos byKevin Main

Depression marshes and seasonal ponds - vegetation may consist of cutthroat grass, maidencane, and St. Johns wort. Pines are common along the edges. Seasonal ponds generally fill up with water by mid-summer and begin to dry out at the end of the rainy season.

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