Northwest and North Central Regions

Trees Shrubs Vines Flowers Grass-like Grasses Weeds

Trees

While woody trees, shrubs and vines often drop fruit (or leaves) that gopher tortoises feed on, this is a very seasonal food source so most trees are listed as low or moderate forage value.

Edible Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) –Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.  

Japanese Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) –Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive greenery, fall color and fruit.

Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) –Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Low maintenance.

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive greenery and fruit.

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Chickasaw Plum (Photo credit: FWC)

Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia)– Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and fruit.

Mexican Plum (Prunus Mexicana) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit.

Peach (Prunus persica) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit.

Flatwoods Plum (Prunus umbellata) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery, fruit and fall color.

Sumac, Winged (Rhus copallina) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery, fruit and fall color.

Saffron Plum (Sideroxylon celastrinum) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit.

Shrubs

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Dwarf Huckleberry (Photo credit: FWC)

Pawpaw (Asimina spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit.

Dwarf Huckleberry (Gaylussacia dumosa) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Blue Huckleberry (Gaylussacia frondosa) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit.

Bush Daisy (Gamolepis spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers and greenery.

Weeping Lantana (Lantana depressa) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.Invasive concerns.

Lespedezas (Lespedeza spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.Invasive concerns.

Bush Clover (Lespedeza bicolor) – Low forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Blackberry (Rubus spp.) – High to very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor) – Low to Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies. Low maintenance.

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Blueberry (Photo credit: FWC)

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) –Moderate to very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies. Low maintenance.

Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum, darrowii, and myrsinites) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Vines

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Butterfly Pea (Photo credit: FWC)

Butterfly Pea (Centrosema spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Passion Flower (Passiflora spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Maypop (passiflora incarnate) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Summer Grape (Vitis aestivalis) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Wild Grape (Vitis rotundifolia) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Cultivated Grapes (Vitis spp.) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Flowers

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Aster (Photo credit: FWC)

Aster (Aster spp.) – Moderate to very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Greeneyes (Berlandiera spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Paintbrush (Carphephorus spp.) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Pineland Daisy (Chaptalia tomentosa) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Golden Aster (Chrysopsis spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Dayflower (Commelina spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Sunflower (Helianthus spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

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Blanket Flower (Photo credit: FWC)

Gayfeather (Liatris spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Lupine (Lupinus spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Prickly Pear (Opuntia spp.) – Moderate to very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Woodsorrel (Oxalis spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Petunia (Petunia hybrid) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

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Gopher Apple (Photo credit: FWC)

Groundcherry (Physalis spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Portulacca (Portulacca spp.) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies. Low maintenance.

Petunia, Wild (Ruellia caroliniensis) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.  

Pansy, Violets (Viola spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Wedelia (Wedelia trilobata) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.Invasive concerns.

Grass-like

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Woodland Sedge (Photo credit: FWC)

Hairsedge (Bulbostylis spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Woodland Sedge (Carex spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Sedge, Flatsedge (Cyperus spp.) – High to very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Spikerush (Eleocharis spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Fimbry (Fimbristylis spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Umbrella Sedge (Fuirena spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Spikesedge (Kyllingia spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

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Hairy Fimbry (Photo credit: FWC)

Plantain (Plantago spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Beaksedge (Rhynchospora spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Nutrush (Scleria spp.) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Yellow-eyed Grass (Xyris spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Grasses

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Thistle (Photo credit: Robert Gundy)

Upland bent grass (Agrostis perennans) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Blue Maidencane (Amphicarpum muhlenbergianum) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

Weeds

Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies. Low maintenance.Allergy concerns.

Beggar’s Ticks (Bidens alba) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Spanish Needles (Bidens bipinnata and pilosa) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Thistle (Cirsium spp.) – High to very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Poor Joe (Diodia teres) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.  

Virginia Buttonweed (Diodia virginiana) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

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Pitted Stripeseed (Photo credit: FWC)

Pitted Stripeseed (Piriqueta caroliniana) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Capeweed (Phyla nodiflora) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Florida Pulsey (Richardia scabra) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Dock (Rumex spp.) – Moderate to high forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies. 



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