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

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Simpson’s Stopper

 

Myrcianthes fragrans

Also called Twinberry.

 

 

Milkweed

Butterfly Milkweed

 

Asclepias tuberosa

Also called Butterfly Weed or Pleurisy-root

 

 

Beach Sunflower

 

Helianthus debilis

 

 

 

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Sandhill Wireweed

 

Polygonella robusta

 

 

 

Yucca

 

Yucca filamentosa

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

 

 

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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

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.

 

 

Liatris

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