Northwest Florida Environmental Conservancy, Part 2
Home | Biodiversity of the Northern Gulf Coast | Ecosystems of Northwest Florida | Bogs, Seepage Slopes, Savannas & Carnivorous Plants | Steepheads | Terrestrial Caves | Caves - Page 2 | Rare & Unusual Plants of the Northern Gulf Coast | Beneficial Critters & Species! | Elusive & Rare Florida Panhandle Amphibians & Reptiles | Which Snake is Venomous? | Rare Amphibians & Reptiles of Upland Sandhills | The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake | Bats Roosting in Florida Bridges | Jackson County, Florida: Rare & Endangered Species Summary | Amphibians & Reptiles of the Florida Panhandle - A Checklist | Bats of Florida - A Checklist | Crayfish of Florida - A Checklist | Damselflies & Dragonflies of Northwest Florida - A Checklist | Darters of the Florida Panhandle - A Checklist | Carnivorous Plant Species of Florida - A Checklist | Carnivorous Plant Species of the United States - A Checklist | At the End of the Rainbow
Rare & Unusual Plants of the Northern Gulf Coast

Over 2,000 species of native plants inhabit the Florida Panhandle alone (not including southern Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi)! 
The northern Gulf Coast has a very interesting and diverse assemblage of plant species.  The diversity of plant species is far more pronounced than even that of animal biodiversity in the region.  A variety of plant species converge and reach the end of their range along the northern Gulf Coast.  Unique groups of plants from very different climatic and geological areas overlap along the northern Gulf Coast.  Plants from the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Appalachian Mountains, the Gulf Coastal Plain, the Florida Peninsula and endemic species inhabit the region.
The photos below are just a small sample of the diverse species of plants found along the Northern Gulf Coast.


Atamasco Lilies
(Zephyranthes atamasca)
Jackson Co., FL
Atamasco lilies are found in calcareous and karst habitats of the region. During the Spring, Atamasco lillies suddenly burst upon the landscape and bloom by the thousands in river floodplains and areas in which limestone and caves are found. 


(Above) Southern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris).  Washington Co., FL.
Maidenhair fern grows in karst areas of caves and sinkholes.  Within this limited habitat, it can be found growing along the entrance of caves and along the vertical walls of sinkholes.
(Below) Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum).  Jackson Co., FL.


Mayapples are a surprise, especially for people who grew up or have lived in the Midwest or northern Appalachian states.  Mayapples are found in very small areas and reach the southern limit of their range in Jackson Co., FL, primarily in and around Florida Caverns State Park.


(Above) Bigleaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla).  Forest Co., MS.
Bigleaf Magnolias are very distinctive trees with very large leaves up to 2 - 3 feet long!
(Below) Pyramid Magnolia (Magnolia pyramidata).  Liberty Co., FL 


Pyramid Magnolias also have large leaves, up to about 1.5 feet long.  They grow as midstory trees in hardwood and mixed pine forests and sheltered ravines.
(Below) Nodding Club Moss (Lycopdodiella cernua).  Jackson Co., FL.


Nodding Club Moss is a small and very primitive and ancient species of moss which grows in seepage slopes and very acidic habitats.

Pg. 9 Beneficial Critters & Species!