Florida Scrub

There is no single plant species that occurs in all Florida scrubs and not in other habitats as well, yet the community is easily recognized. Florida scrub can be identified by the dominance of several species of woody shrubs, especially myrtle oak or scrub oak (Quercus myrtifolia or Q. inopina), sand live oak (Q . geminata), Chapmanís oak (Q . chapmanii), crookedwood (Lyonia ferruginea), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides); the absence of a tree canopy; the absence of a continuous vegetative ground cover; and the absence of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), wiregrass (Aristida beyrichiana), and turkey oak (Q . laevis). When sand pines (Pinus clausa) are present in scrub they do not form a continuous canopy but occur as scattered individuals or clumps of individuals. Most scrubs occur on white sand and patches of bare sand with or without scattered clumps of ground lichens. Scrub soils are derived from quartz, slightly to strongly acidic, very low in nutrients, and moderately to excessively well-drained. They are classified as entisols (soils with little or no horizon development) (Myers 1990). Scrub soils are practically devoid of organic matter, silt and clay. Scrub soils range from the pure white, excessively leached St. Lucie Fine Sand, to moderately leached Paola and Orsino sands that are characterized by a white surface and a yellowish subsoil. Scrubs often occupy ecotones between longleaf pine savannas (high pine or pine flatwoods) and wetlands, and conditions within a single scrub may grade from xeric to mesic. Scrubs on the most excessively drained sites often are dominated by Florida rosemary and referred to as rosemary balds. Sand pine scrubs have scattered individuals or clumps of sand pines and oak scrubs are dominated by one or more of the shrubby oaks.

Taken from: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1999. South Florida Multi-Species Recovery Plan. Atlanta, Georgia. Pp. 3:34.

Listed Species Occurring in Florida Scrub Habitat

  • Florida Panther
  • Florida Scrub-jay
  • Kirtland's Warbler
  • Eastern Indigo Snake
  • Blue-tailed Mole Skink
  • Sand Skink
  • Four Petal Paw-paw
  • Florida Bonamia
  • Fragrant Prickly Apple
  • Pygmy Fringe Tree
  • Florida Golden Aster
  • Florida Perforate Cladonia
  • Pigeon Wings
  • Short-leaved Rosemary
  • Avon Park Harebells
  • Garrett's Mint
  • Scrub Mint
  • Lakela's Mint
  • Scrub Buckwheat
  • Snakeroot
  • Highlands Scrub Hypericum
  • Scrub Blazing Star
  • Scrub Lupine
  • Britton's Beargrass
  • Papery Whitlow-wort
  • Lewton's Polygala
  • Tiny Polygala
  • Wireweed
  • Sandlace
  • Scrub Plum
  • Carter's Mustard
  • Florida Ziziphus