Issuu on Google+

This project was developed by: Eckerd College Faculty

Dr. Teresa Restom Gaskill – Natural Sciences Collegium Dr. Elizabeth Forys – Natural Sciences Collegium Dr. Alison Ormsby – Behavioral Sciences Collegium

The Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) William Stickley, Julie MacNary, Virginia Oppenheimer, Fred Wolf

Eckerd College Students

Scott Adams and Nicola Zenzola, Marine Science Rachel Beck, Emma Hartmann, Andy Maurer, Alexandra Mezentsev, and Sierra Voss, Environmental Studies Adrian Padilla, Biology


ASPEC / Suntrust Bank Learning Grant Natural Sciences Collegium Environmental Studies Discipline Special Thanks to: Orlando Macias, UNICCO, and Greg Douglas, NAS

21. Caribbean trumpet tree (Tabebuia aurea). The flowers of this

beautiful tree are bright yellow and usually bloom in late winter/early spring. Most of the leaves fall off when the tree is blooming, giving this tree a spectacular appearance.

22. Pigmy date palm (Phoenix roebelinii). This relatively small date palm has multiple stems, but in the wild it usually produces a single trunk. As in other date palms (Phoenix spp., see #11 and #20), its leaf petioles are armed with sharp spines.

23. Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis). This palm has leaves with

ckerd College is located on 188 acres of breathtaking waterfront property. This prime location allows for the college community to enjoy an outdoor environment year-round, and the natural beauty of the campus provides an ideal environment for outdoor, hands-on learning experiences. Eckerd is home to several natural areas and native gardens, which include the Alumni Grove, Palm Hammock, and Forever Wild. This brochure was made with the intention to guide you in exploring our campus and in learning about the plants that contribute to its beauty.

drooping tips; the base of the petiole is armed with small spines. Fruit displays as blue when ripe and about 1 inch long.

24. Strangler fig (Ficus aurea). The germination of this plant takes place in

the canopy of a host tree (in this case, an oak) and the seedling lives as an epiphyte until its roots come in contact with the ground. It strangles the host tree until it becomes its own freestanding structure. The tree is only pollinated by fig wasps and provides food and shelter for various other organisms. Its widely available fruits are an important food source for wild animals. The aerial roots are used to treat skin cancer, and the milky sap contains ficin, which is a strong proteolytic enzyme that can rid the body of parasitic worms.

25. Pony tail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata). In spite of its common name, this plant is not a member of the palm family, but of the yucca family, which includes plants well-adapted to desert conditions, such as the Joshua tree. This species, likewise, has a swollen base that is able to store water up to several months.

26. Live oak (Quercus virginiana). The slow decomposition of the waxy

leaves shed throughout the year of this evergreen oak, creates a timed release of minerals that may increase recycling efficiency in forest ecosystems. This species reaches heights up to 60 feet and is often covered with Spanish moss. In the past, its heavy wood provided timber for the ribs and knees of sailing ships. Live oak is the official state tree of Georgia.

27. White floss silk tree (Chorisia insignis). This large beautiful tree

flowers in fall, after it loses most of its leaves, displaying many off-white colored 5-petal flowers. Distinctive knobs on the trunk develop into spines as the tree ages along with chlorophyll-rich veins to aid in photosynthesis. A member of the cotton family, this species has been used to stuff life vests and cushions.

28. Rose gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus grandis). Characterized by the light-

gray, peeling bark, and by aromatic leaves, this species can be used for pulpwood, fuel, poles, veneer and other products. Its use as a landscaping plant is becoming popular in Florida.

Cover photo by Tannyr Carnes

14. Washingtonia palm (Washingtonia robusta). This palm can

commonly reach heights above 80 feet. The leaves are fan-shaped and the long petioles (leaf stalks) are armed with large shark-tooth like spines.

15. Mangroves. The black mangrove thrives in areas of sandy or muddy shores

along brackish or salt water bodies. The pneumatophores (cigar-shaped structures protruding from the ground near the base of the tree) produced by its roots, allow this plant to obtain oxygen from the air when the soil is flooded. Black mangrove’s bark contains tannin and has been used to prepare leather products. You can see three species of mangroves along the coastline: red mangrove (characterized by its prop roots developed high in the stem), black mangrove, and white mangrove (roundish leaves with a pair of glands at the base).

16. Silver buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus). This variety of buttonwood (see plant #13 for the green variety) is widely used for landscaping due to the silver color of its leaves that are densely covered with silky hairs. The silver buttonwood is well adapted to saline soils, alkaline and acidic, and is a favorite plant for bonsai. Its wood was once an important source of charcoal in Florida.

17. Mangroves. (see #15) 18. Canary island date palm (Phoenix canariensis). This massive palm tree can grow up to 60 feet tall and is widely used for landscaping in frost-free areas around the world. The leaves can reach lengths of 15 feet, and are armed with sharp spines at their bases. The leaf scars on the trunk form an attractive diamond pattern.

19. New Caledonia Pine (Araucaria columnaris). This introduced

evergreen tree is native to Hawaii. It has a lightweight wood that is used for paneling and jewelry. They are dioecious plants with the male cones reaching two inches in length and the female cones reaching four inches in length.

20. Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). This usually large tree can be

recognized by its characteristic fruits and leaves. The fruits are capsules with projecting spines, and the leaves have deep lobes and are somewhat star-shaped. This species is widely used for commercial purposes such as veneer, furniture, and pulp. The sap is chewed and can also be used in medicine and perfumes.

1. Slash pine 2. Saw palmetto 3. Walter's viburnum 4. Jerusalem thorn 5. Orchid tree 6. Chinese elm 7. Gumbo limbo 8. Sea grape 9. Southern magnolia 10. Crape myrtle 11. Senegal date palm 12. Green buttonwood 13. Cabbage palm 14. Washingtonia palm 15. Mangroves 16. Silver buttonwood

17. Mangroves 18. Canary Island date palm 19. New Caledonia pine 20. Sweetgum 21. Caribbean trumpet tree 22. Pigmy date palm 23. Chinese fan palm 24. Strangler fig 25. Pony tail palm 26. Live oak 27. White floss silk tree 28. Rose gum eucalyptus

6. Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia). Native to China, Korea, and Japan, the

Chinese elm is wind pollinated, contributing to a large amount of the airborne pollen in parts of California. The fruit is light reddish-brown, winged, and nearly rounded except for a notch near the head. Petals are absent in the flowers as this species is wind-pollinated. The leaf bases are asymmetrical, as characteristic of most elms.

7. Gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba). The Gumbo Limbo is often referred to as lthough a sign identifies only one plant, we hope you will recognize others when you see them. To get to know these plants, follow the path on the map. You can start anywhere; however, the numbering system begins near the Admission Office in Franklin Templeton. We hope you enjoy the botanical riches of our campus! 1. Slash pine (Pinus elliottii). This pine can be identified by its 4 to 12-inch needles in clusters of 2 or 3. The South Florida slash pine (var. densa) is found from Central Florida down to the keys. This species has great economic value and has been used for pulp, timber, naval stores, etc.

2. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). This fan palm’s trunk usually occurs

underground or creeps along the surface. Sharp spines along its petioles give this species its common name. This species is fire-resistant and believed to reach about 500-700 years of age. The fruit is high in fatty acids and phytosterols, and besides being a valuable food source for wildlife, it can be used for the treatment of human urinary tract infections.

3. Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum). Usually found in wetlands, this tree is occasionally found in non-flooded fertile sandy soil. Because of its dense growth, it is quite suitable for hedging. Left to grow without pruning, it can develop into a beautiful small tree with a broad spreading crown.

4. Jerusalem thorn (Parkinsonia aculeata). Native to the southwestern

U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, South America (south to northern Argentina) and the Galapagos Islands, the Jerusalem thorn is well adapted to desert life. The leaves are extremely small which reduces evaporation, and the green stem is responsible for most of the photosynthesis. The fruit is a seedpod that is leathery in appearance and light brown when mature. The flowers are yellow and fragrant, growing from a long slender stalk in groups of 8 to 10.

5. Orchid tree (Bauhinia variegata). This species is in the legume family. This variety, called Candida, has white flowers, however, this species most commonly produces flower shades of magenta, lavender or purple.

the Tourist Tree because the bark is red and peeling. The tree yields fruit with a capsule surrounding the seeds with a red seedcoat. It has high medicinal value due to its properties that are an antidote to the Black Poisonwood, which often grows nearby.

8. Sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera). This widespread species is generally found as a sprawling shrub on sand dunes and beaches along the coast. Easily recognized by large, leathery, circular leaves with prominent veins, the fruits hang down in grapelike clusters, and are edible raw and or made into wine-like beverages and jelly. Several parts of the tree, such as the roots and bark, are also used to treat various illnesses, from sore throat to diarrhea.


Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). The magnolias are one of the most primitive groups of flowering plants, having evolved over 100 million years ago. The leaves of this species are a leathery, bright lustrous green on top and rust brown below. The flowers are white and showy with a strong lemony scent and multiple petals.

10. Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica). This is a commonly planted

ornamental deciduous tree in the Southern U.S. Its flowers occur in varied colors such as red, purple, pink and white. The fruits are small capsules with a large number of small winged seeds inside. The bark is smooth and may display several colors as parts of it are shed.

11. Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata). Growing in large clumps with male and female flowers borne on separate plants, this palm is in the same genus as the edible date palm (P. dactylifera), but the fruit is mostly seed with very little flesh.

12. Green buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). This species is a mangrove-

associate tree, and it is easily identified by its oval fruits and fleshy leaves with a pair of glands at its base.

13. Cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). Its common name refers to its edible heart

(the apical meristem, or growing part of the plant) that was eaten as a vegetable by Native Americans. The fruit is smooth, round, and black at maturity, and attracts a variety of wild animals. The leaf bases that are retained after the leaves fall off collect debris and host a variety of epiphytic plants such as Spanish moss, orchids, ferns, and, invariably, strangler figs. It is also Florida's state 'tree'.

Plaint Trail Tour