Written by Jake Ingram
Dovetailing with Jim Draper’s Feast of Flowers exhibit, The Museum is featuring a few groupings of North Florida Native Plants in various locations around the museum. Each week we will look at one of these plants in more detail.
Below the branches of the Bald Cypress are six Longleaf Pines (Pinus palustris) in what is termed the “grass stage” of development. Longleaf Pine individuals have been known to remain in this juvenile stage up to seven years plus waiting until conditions are perfect for them to ‘reach for the sun’ and become trees. They have physiologically adapted to withstand ground fires that will burn their needles but not the terminal bud. Fires are often the impetus needed to provide the growth spurt that sends them upward. In the ‘grass stage’ they look like anything but a majestic Longleaf Pine but they do have that look of ‘promise.’