Animals aren’t the only wild residents that plant their roots here. Almost 7,000 acres of diverse coastal wilderness provide plenty of places for plant life, and the refuge has some fantastic flora. Whether you enjoy colorful blooms, delicate foliage, or towering trees, you’ll find some of everything along the trails.
As you explore the lush maritime forest, wander through the wetlands, and stroll near the dune swales, interpretive signs, and handy guidebooks will point out the unique plants that live in each landscape.
If trees are your thing, you’re really in for a tree-t. You’ll find dozens of unique tree species across the refuge, including live oaks, southern magnolias, longleaf pines, bald cypress, Atlantic white cedar, and many others. In areas of maritime forest, they all come together under a dense canopy draped in thick Spanish moss.
Blooms and Berries
Flowering plants and shrubs provide a splash of color as well as seasonal snacks for birds, squirrels, and other refuge wildlife. Some of the most common species include blueberries, wild olive, muscadine, saw palmetto, Yaupon, Conradina, and Persimmon.
Between the maritime forests and sandy shores lies a living ecosystem all its own. As ocean winds and salty spray blow in from the coast, they create a twisted sculpture of hardy shrubs and low-lying trees that provides shelter for wildlife and protects inland areas. You may spot sand pine, sand live oak, myrtle-leaved oak, and Florida rosemary, among others.
As you approach the frontal dunes, keep your eyes peeled for swaying stalks of sea oats. These native coastal plants keep the dunes intact and provide a tasty meal for the Alabama Beach Mouse.