` Reader No. 13
FLORIDA TREES, FLOWERS, FRUITS
William M. Duncan
To a naturalist, the State of Florida is one of the most complex and interesting regions in
the world. The peninsula has a dry season that is wetter and a rainy season that is drier than the
corresponding period of the tropics. Temperate vegetation appears in the late winter and tropic
vegetation in summer.
There are many different types of areas-flat pine woods, rolling woods, sand country,
clay country, limestone, areas of bluish springs, lakes and caves. There are dense hardwood
forest, sand dunes and fertile hammocks; narrow, slowly-moving streams, and a range of
highland lakes. In the peninsular area, salt-water and fresh-water marshes, cypress swamps, open
swamps, low hammocks and inundated prairies range southward to the great marshland of the
Everglades. With every marked change of altitude and soil, are corresponding changes of the
flora, or plant life.
Hilly pinelands range from the Alabama line through middle-west Florida, with longleaf
pine and occasional sandy tracts of blackjack oak. Spruce pine is near the coast, between
Alabama and the Ocklockenee River. Diversified growth is seen in the limestone region of
Holmes and Jackson counties, with sandy, open pine forests, red clay hills, dense hardwoods, and
cypress ponds that dry up in the spring.
An area linking west and central Florida, the middle Florida hammock belt extending
from Liberty County to Marion County, contains pine woods,