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.
The Spruce Pine is a North Florida resident that is found in moist forests growing as a single specimen, unlike the other Pines in our area that grow in dense stands . A denizen of flood plains and mixed hardwood forests, it is most often noticed west of Jacksonville from the I-10 bridges as one crosses broad wetland areas. Look for needles that are much shorter and densely arranged than our more common Loblolly and Slash Pines. It is also more shade-tolerant than their sun-loving cousins. And its bark resembles more that of a hardwood tree than a pine. Despite its preference for moist sites, it adapts easily to upland areas and makes a very attractive addition to an urban landscape. There’s a magnificent specimen on Oak Street, just north of James. These four containerized trees are only four years old and with age will drop their lower branches as they reach for the sky. Truly a majestic southern Pine.