Marvelous Maritime Hammock: Treasure Shores Park #1

Hammock plant, Treasure Shores Pak

Nancy Soucy (Class of 2010), Cindy Hersh (Class of 2016), Lani York (Class of 2016), and Trish Kruza (Class of 2015) grace the elevated restrooms at Treasure Shores Park on Saturday, June 3. This beach park has plenty of parking, restrooms with showers, shaded picnic tables, a playground, beach access (but no lifeguards), and some short nature trails through handsome hammock.

This maritime hammock is home to many of the plants that we know and love from ORCA plus coastal strand plants adapted to harsh oceanfront conditions. Expected, based on the flora at ORCA, but conspicuously absent were Florida privet (Forestiera segregata) and marllberry (Ardisia escalloniodies).

Simpson’s stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans), also know as twin berry stopper was particularly prevalent and full of unripe fruit in sunny spots …

When ripe, the fruits borne in pairs (i.e., twinberry) will be bright red and quite attractive to birds. Older plants in the shade had smooth, stout trunks that give rise to yet another common common name, nakedwood stopper …

Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) had a few ripe fruits, many unripe fruits and flowers …

Wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) also was full of unripe fruits and flowers …

Snowberry (Chioccoca alba) flourished and flowered …

It was wonderful to see some redbay (Persea borbonia) trees untouched by the exotic invasive laurel wilt disease that has devastated redly populations throughout the coastal plain …

Lani pointed out the buttressed trunk of an impressively-sized strangler fig (Ficus aurea) …

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The poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) was quite pretty and pronounced …

The hercules club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), all agreed, was amazing especially this 6-trunked specimen …

A Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) visited briefly but may have been put-off by the crew camera-weilding plant-oglers.

Also especially stunning were the tough bully trees (Sideroxylon tenax), a plant not present at ORCA. Buckthorn and tough bumelia are other common names for this plant which once had Bumelia tenax as its botanical name. This tree ranges as far north as south Carolina and reportedly has been extirpated from the southern reaches of south Florida. The undersides of its leaves are covered with conspicuous copper hairs …

… as are the outside of its flower buds  (note the tiny ants seeking nectar) …

Near the playground was a shapley specimen …

We all had a wonderful time playing and learning at this pretty park …