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Sand Myrtle
Sand Myrtle
Sand Myrtle
Sand Myrtle
Wet Trail
Longleaf Pine Savanna
Leatherleaf Blooms
Leatherleaf Blooms
Big Puddle
Unidentified Shrub
Unidentified Shrub
Unidentified Shrub
View Of The Ground At Bslp In Winter
Longleaf Pine Juvenile
Turkey Oak And Longleaf Pine
Yellow Wood-sorrel
Turkey Oak Leaves
Moss And Lichen
Spanish Moss
Forest Floor Beneath The Pines
Weather-bleached Pine Cone
Bare Oaks And Pines
BogBogBogPixie-mossPixie-mossPixie-mossPixie-mossSand MyrtleSand MyrtleSand MyrtleSand MyrtleWet TrailSavannaLongleaf Pine SavannaPondPondLeatherleaf BloomsLeatherleaf BloomsSundewButterwort…maybe!Big PuddleUnidentified ShrubUnidentified ShrubUnidentified ShrubView Of The Ground At Bslp In WinterLongleaf Pine JuvenileTurkey Oak And Longleaf PineYellow Wood-sorrelTurkey Oak LeavesMoss And LichenSpanish MossForest Floor Beneath The PinesWeather-bleached Pine ConeBare Oaks And Pines

Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve

Brunswick County has the highest plant species density of any county in North Carolina, and the town of Boiling Spring Lakes is one of the most notable spots in the county. A 6000+ acre nature preserve was established in 2004 to protect hundreds of species, some of which are rare or endangered, that live in that small, varied parcel of the Carolina coastal plain. It was designated a nationally significant ecological site in 1995 by the NC Natural Heritage Program.

The Nature Conservancy manages the property and the nature trail, which fortunately for us,  makes some of the property accessible to the public. The trail begins at the Community Center on Leeds Road, running along the edge of a disc golf course before entering the woods and bogs of the preserve.

March is a little early for blooms but there were still some interesting ones when I visited last week. I’ve numbered my photos to match the gallery slider above, or you can click the number links below and see a large view of each one.

(1, 2, 3) As you begin the trail, the first boggy spot appears to your left.

(4, 5, 6, 7) Common pixie-moss (Pyxidanthera barbulata var. barbulata) is visible along the sides of the trail and in some cases, in the trail.

(8, 9, 10, 11) Sand-myrtle (Kalmia buxifolia) has a surprising flower if you think of kalmia as the mountain laurel one. The petals of sand-myrtle are separate and the stamens are free.

(12) Waterproof boots are a good idea. Sometimes you can just walk around the wet and sometimes you can’t.

(13, 14) Pine savanna

(15, 16) A dark water pond

(17, 18) Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)

(19) Dwarf sundew (Drosera brevifolia)

(20) Butterwort (Pinguicula sp.) ?

(21) Very big puddle

(22, 23, 24) Mystery shrub (Vaccinium) ?

(25) Dry sand and turkey oaks at the back edge of the disc golf course

(26) Longleaf pine juvenile (Pinus palustris)

(27) Looking up through the turkey oaks to the longleaf pines

(28) Yellow wood-sorrel (Oxalis sp.)

(29) Turkey oak leaves (Quercus laevis)

(30) Moss and lichens

(31) Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides)

(32) Pine needle-y forest floor

(33)  A weather-bleached longleaf pine cone

(34) Sandy path at the outer edge of the pine savanna

This Post Has 3 Comments

    1. I’m glad you agree about the shrub! Hopefully I’ll find out for sure sometime, and which species it is. I really enjoyed that place. The variety of ecosystems and niches in that small area is just amazing. I ran out of time to go the entire length of the trail, which is where most of the carnivorous plants are. Will definitely go back.

  1. I’d think about Coastal Fetterbush for the mystery shrub. Eubotrys racemosa. Thanks for sharing

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