Flora and Threatened and Endangered Plants of Canaveral National Seashore, Florida


Paul A. Schmalzer

Additional Authors:

Tammy E. Foster


June 2016


Canaveral National Seashore, Florida, invasive exotic plants, rare species, vascular flora.

ABSTRACT Canaveral National Seashore (CANA) incorporates ca. 23,335 ha of land, shallow lagoons, and offshore waters in east central Florida. We surveyed the flora in 20 terrestrial sites and one lagoon site between the fall of 2002 and the fall of 2004, made additional collections from 2005 to 2015, and examined existing collections in the CANA and KSC (Kennedy Space Center) herbaria annotating them where necessary. The final floristic list includes 679 taxa. Of this total, 584 are native and 94 are introduced. Only 40 taxa were not represented by new collections. Fifteen taxa considered endangered or threatened by the state of Florida occur; one (Harrisia fragrans) is listed as endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Those listed as endangered in Florida include Argusia gnaphalodes, Chamaesyce cumulicola, Glandularia maritima, Harrisia fragrans, Lantana depressa var. floridana, Lechea divaricata, Nemastylis floridana, Ophioglossum palmatum, Tephrosia angustissima var. curtissii, Tillandsia fasciculata var. densispica, and Tillandsia utriculata. Plants listed as threatened in Florida include Myrcianthes fragrans, Opuntia stricta, Pteroglossaspis ecristata, and Scaevola plumieri. Five plants are listed in Florida as commercially exploited: Encyclia tampensis, Epidendrum conopseum, Osmunda cinnamomea, O. regalis, and Zamia pumila. Twenty Category I and 11 Category II invasive exotic plants (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council) occur. Feral pigs, introduced insects, and plant disease threaten some plants. Fire management, control of exotics, and restoration of disturbed areas are management concerns. The temperate and subtropical plants within CANA are sensitive to climatic changes; its coastal location and low elevation makes it vulnerable to sea level rise.