Southern Region Viewing Area
LOCATION and PHOTOS
Forest: National Forests in Florida, Ocala National Forest
District: Lake George and Seminole Ranger Districts
Description: The Pine Flatwoods community derives its name from the occurrence of areas with flat topography. Soils consist of acidic, sandy and low in organic and clay content. Flatwoods may flood during summer due to poor drainage conditions. Vegetation is represented in three layers. The lower layer consists of herbaceous forbs; the mid layer includes shrubby hardwoods and small trees; the canopy layer consists of one, rarely more, pine species.
Viewing Information: The Pine Flatwoods community is characterized by the following plant species: Acer rubrum (red maple), Aristida stricta (wiregrass), Befaria racemosa (tar flower), Diospyros virginiana (wild persimmon), Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly bay), Ilex glabra (gallberry), Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum), Lyonia ferruginea (rusty lyonia), L. lucida (fetterbush), Magnolia grandiflora (southern magniloa), M. virginiana (sweet bay), Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle), Nyssa sylvatica (black gum), Pinus elliottii (slash pine), P. palustris (longleaf pine), P. serotina (pond pine), Quercus laurifolia (laurel oak), Q. virginiana (live oak), Serenoa repens (saw palmetto),and other forbs and grass species. An herbaceous ground cover typically dominates areas with a relatively open canopy.
Wildflowers in pine flatwoods community include dog banana (Asimina reticulata), Michaux’s milekweed (Asclepias michauxii), pedicellate milkweed (A. pedicellata), hairy trilisa (Carphephorus paniculatus), goldenaster (Chrysopsis subulata), Carolina rock-rose (Helianthemum carolinianum), tarflowe (Bejaria racemosa), hairy wicky (Kalmina hirsuta), Bartram’s sabatia (Sabatia bartramii), crow-poison (Zigadenus densus).
Safety First: Depending on the time of year you may find biting insects. Take proper precautions such as insect repellant and long clothing. This area is extremely hot during summer; drink plenty of fluids. Further, protect yourself from the sun by using long clothing or sun block. Alligators are found in Juniper run. Swimming is prohibited on the run.
Directions: Pine Flatwoods can be located along highway 40. Portions of the Florida Scenic trail traverse pine flatwoods.
Ownership: United States Forest Service, National Forests in Florida, Lake George Ranger District, 17147 E. Highway 40, Silver Springs, FL 34488, (352) 625-2520.
Closest Town: Ocala, Silver Springs, Umatilla, and Astor; Florida.