Flora, Fungi, and Fauna along the Florida Trail in Bronson State Forest


Let’s wrap up my Florida trip with this final post from my hike at Bronson State Forest.

Sand Heath Ceratiola ericoides

Sand Heath Ceratiola ericoides
Sand Heath, Ceratiola ericoides

Rosemary scrub habitats in Florida are considered to be a particularly endangered habitat. It thrives in sandy, old inland dune habitats and prefers to have a good burn once in a while—and well, you can imagine that sandy habitats and burning can be in short supply when people build homes right on top of and up next to the perfect habitat.

A few sites with more information: Scrub Rosemary via UCF Arboretum, Endemic Florida Rosemary via Florida State Parks, and Rosemary scrub via Florida Hikes.

Deer Moss Cladonia evansii

Deer Moss Cladonia evansii
Deer Moss, Cladonia evansii

Sometimes the sand can be covered in deer moss and while the sand is fluffy and white, this makes it look even more like snow at times.

Sand Spike-Moss Selaginella arenicola
Sand Spike-Moss, Selaginella arenicola

This Selaginella just needs a bit of rain to plump up again! This species is also showing up as having a range into Texas.

Shelf Fungi
Shelf Fungi, Order Polyporales

Christmas Lichen
Christmas Lichen, Herpothallon rubrocinctum

Vanillaleaf Carphephorus odoratissimus

Vanillaleaf Carphephorus odoratissimus
Vanillaleaf, Carphephorus odoratissimus

Vanillaleaf is a plant I’ve only become familiar with in the last couple of years after seeing people post it online. Unfortunately it isn’t in its lilac blooming glory and I didn’t crush its leaves to get the signature vanilla scent. A bit more info here

Golden Polypody Phlebodium aureum

Golden Polypody Phlebodium aureum

Golden Polypody Phlebodium aureum
Golden Polypody, Phlebodium aureum, with shoestring fern Vittaria lineata, at the bottom of the palm in the second photo. Gotta miss the epiphytic fern diversity.

Chocolate Tube Slimes, Stemonitis sp.
Chocolate Tube Slimes, Stemonitis sp.

This was probably one of the cooler finds along the hike. Originally I thought it was a fungi, kinda like the ‘fungi’ I saw at Lake Livingston SP a few weekends ago, but turns out this was also a slime mold. Now I’m really on the lookout for slime molds!

Monk Orchid Oeceoclades maculata
Monk Orchid, Oeceoclades maculata

Monk orchids are terrestrial orchids that were originally from Africa, later naturalizing in Brazil and since the 1970s they have taken root in areas throughout Florida. I enjoy them but we’ve also been known to pull them up when we’ve found them in natural spaces.

Golden Silk Spider Trichonephila clavipes
Golden Silk Spider, Trichonephila clavipes

Always one to give you a giant leap back or a fumble on the trail if you stumble into their web at the last minute on the trail! So creepy and yet beautiful!

Lizard's Tail Saururus cernuus
Lizard’s Tail, Saururus cernuus

Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus sp.

Habenaria sp.
Ground orchid, Habenaria sp.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit Arisaema triphyllum
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

Finding an early harbinger of spring—well, one that was right on time for this area of Florida—was a delight to find on the trail. We’re just coming into their season here in Texas.

Habeneria sp.
Another ground orchid, Habeneria sp.

Hooded Pitcher Plant Sarracenia minor
Hooded Pitcher Plant, Sarracenia minor

Pink Sundew Drosera capillaris
Pink Sundew, Drosera capillaris

Yellow Milkwort Polygala rugelii
Yellow Milkwort, Polygala rugelii

Pond Pine Pinus serotina
Pond Pine, Pinus serotina

Fetterbush Lyonia Lyonia lucida
Fetterbush Lyonia, Lyonia lucida

Southern Needleleaf Airplant Tillandsia setacea
Southern Needleleaf Airplant, Tillandsia setacea

Unknown fern

Unknown fern
An unknown fern…

If anyone can tell me what this is that would be great! I’m sure it is a desiccated version of a common fern, I just can’t figure it out!

Golden Club Orontium aquaticum
Golden Club, Orontium aquaticum

Bracket Fungi, Florida Trail
Bracket Fungi, Family Polyporaceae

Viola sp.
Viola sp.

Spurge Nettle Cnidoscolus stimulosus
Spurge Nettle, Cnidoscolus stimulosus

And that’s a wrap! Great hiking, great company, and great naturalizing!

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One thought on “Flora, Fungi, and Fauna along the Florida Trail in Bronson State Forest

  1. You always capture the prettiest parts of every state!

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