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.

Pigeonplum (Coccoloba diversifola) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery.

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.

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

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.

Coco Plum (Chrysobalanus icaco) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit.

Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora) – Low forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive greenery, fruit and fall color.Invasive concerns.

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Dwarf Huckleberry (Photo credit: FWC)

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.

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

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.

Scrub Palmetto (Sabal etonia) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies. Low maintenance.

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

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

Porterweed (Stachytarpheta spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

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Blueberry (Photo credit: FWC)

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.

Railroad Vine (Ipomoea spp.) – Low to moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Low maintenance.

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.

Sea Oxeye (Borrichia frutescens) – Moderate 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.

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Blanket Flower (Photo credit: FWC)

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.

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.) – Low forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative species. Attractive flowers, greenery and fruit. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

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.

Beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) – Moderate forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. Attracts wildlife and butterflies.

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.

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Gopher Apple (Photo credit: FWC)

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

Moss Verbena (Verbena tennisecta) – High forage value for gopher tortoises. Native species. Attractive flowers and greenery. 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.

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Hairy Fimbry (Photo credit: FWC)

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

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

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

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Thistle (Photo credit: Robert Gundy)

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

Coastal Ragweed (Ambrosia hispida) – 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.

Mex. Clover (Richardia braliensis) – Very high forage value for gopher tortoises. Nonnative 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. 



FWC Facts:
Female alligators rarely exceed 9.5 feet in length, but males can grow much larger, up to 14 feet long and more than 1,000 pounds.

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