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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Wetland Communities - Pine Rocklands

Pine Rockland ForestPine Rocklands are found on exposed oolitic limestone in southeast Florida and the lower Florida Keys. In the Florida Keys south Florida slash pines dominate the canopy along with poisonwood. In addition stoppers, myrsine, cabbage palm, silver thatch palm and Key thatch palm are found in the understory. Pine rocklands are UPLANDS, generally dry to xeric landscapes with trees growing in shallow accumulations of sandy soils, marl or organics in solution holes, depression and crevices of the weathered oolitic limestone. Drainage in these soils is variable and depending on elevation and soil type can be slow (here the marl soils tend to form) to rapid (xeric soils). Storms may overwash entire islands with their associated pine rocklands in the keys, thus salt tolerant plants are common. Fire is an important component of these unique plant communities, natural fires are thought to have occurred every 3 to 10 years. If fire is suppressed the thick understory vegetation may create conditions for a catastrophic fire. Many of our rarest, endemic species are confined to pine rocklands. Most of these are related to species of more widespread distribution in the West Indies.

This scene to the right is of the ecotone between the pine rockland forest and the Strumpfia maritima flats, these flats are only found in one area of Big Pine Key. Possibly the rarest plant community in Florida.

Typical Trees Include


Botanical Latin Common Name Wetland Status
Coccoloba diversifolia PIGEON PLUM
Bumelia reclinata BUCKTHORN FAC
Conocarpus erectus BOTTONWOOD FACW
Chiococca alba SNOWBERRY FAC
Erithralis fruticosa BLACK TORCH FAC
Ernodea littoralis GOLDEN CREEPER FAC Keys only
Eugenia spp. STOPPER
Guapira discolor BLOLLY FAC Keys only
Ficus citrifolia SHORTLEAF FIG
Guettarda scabra ROUGH VELVETSEED
Manilkera bahamensis WILD DILLY FAC Keys only
Jacquinia keyensis JOEWOOD FAC
Metopium toxiferum POISONWOOD FAC
Maytenus phyllanthoides FLORIDA MAYTEN FAC
Piscidia piscipula JAMAICA DOGWOOD
Myrcianthes fragrans TWINBERRY STOPPER


Last updated: July 01, 2015

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