Most plants in the Florida scrub are shrubs like oaks, palmettos, and blueberries. The Florida rosemary grows in dry areas, protecting its own space by producing chemicals that inhibit seeds of other species from germinating. Pine trees occur in some scrub areas, but the shrubs are really the plants in charge.

Many rare plants are found only in Florida scrub. The very rare thorny shrub Florida ziziphus was thought to be extinct until a few years ago; it produces fruits at only a few sites. The Lake Placid scrub mint only grows south of Josephine Creek; it stores seeds in the soil that germinate in high numbers after fires. The tough scrub plum is a survivor; over 98% of its plants survive each year and it resprouts after fires that sweep over its habitat.

Scrub bugs are among the most fascinating of organisms. Some have lost their ability to fly, some spend their lives below ground, and others use specialized food sources. New scrub arthropods (insects, spiders, etc.) are described every year;
and more are waiting to be discovered. Unique scrub bugs are found on nearly every major dry ridge in Florida.

Photo Gallery

Photos by Tim Lethbridge.