Wildflowers, Shrubs and Trees

A wide variety of plant life can be seen along the two trails at the Ridge Audubon Center.  Trees include longleaf and sand pines, a number of oak species, and an assortment of palms and palmettos.  It is inspiring to see how many beautiful wildflowers grow in sand in the hot sun, watered only by rainfall. Click or tap the thumbnails for a larger photo.

Pygmy Fringe-tree

Pygmy Fringe-tree


Chionanthus pygmaeus

This unusual tree can be seen on the Lake Trail: a rare Pygmy Fringe-tree




Jeweled Blue-eyed Grass


Sisyrinchium xerophyllum




Pinewoods Milkweed

Pinewoods Milkweed


Asclepias humistrata

This milkweed is native to the area, surviving in the sand by putting down a deep taproot.  Shown here in bloom.  Also called Sandhill Milkweed, it is a larval host for Monarch and Queen butterflies.



Pinewoods Milkweed

Pinewoods Milkweed


Asclepias humistrata

Gone to seed, pods bursting open.




Simpson’s Stopper


Myrcianthes fragrans

Also called Twinberry.




Butterfly Milkweed


Asclepias tuberosa

Also called Butterfly Weed or Pleurisy-root



Beach Sunflower


Helianthus debilis





Sandhill Wireweed


Polygonella robusta






Yucca filamentosa

A trunkless yucca found in sandhills, scrub, and pine flatwoods.




Stinging Nettle


Cnidoscolus stimulosus

Also called Tread-softly or Finger-rot, this pretty flower has stems and leaves with nasty thorns. Do not touch!




Pricklypear Cactus


Opuntia humifusa

This native cactus produces edible fruits, and is a host plant for the cochineal, a scale insect which produces a deep red color used as a dye.  More information here.



Florida Greeneyes

Florida Greeneyes


Berlandiera subacaulis

Florida Greeneyes has a green-centered daisy flower when the bloom is young.




Blazing Star (Liatris)


Liatris Gracilis

Also called Slender Gayfeather, this perennial grows in many places on our trail.



Skyblue Lupine


 Lupinus diffusus




Pineland Catchfly

Pineland Catchfly


Polanisia tenuifolia

Also calles Slender Clammyweed.



Tall Elephantsfoot

Tall Elephantsfoot


 Elephantopus elatus