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Scrub Forests Zone 9

These shrub dominated communities occur along the central ridge and coastal areas of Florida on deep acid sand with virtually no organic matter except for surface litter. The white and sometimes yellow sandy soils are infertile and extremely well-drained. Under natural conditions high intensity fires occur at 10 to 80 year intervals. Plants require good drainage and suffer from flooding and wet or heavy soils. They are drought and frost resistant and can endure light shade. Sand Pine Scrub has a canopy of Pinus clausa; when no pines are present, the scrub community can be viewed as a dwarf forest, where plants which are normally understory or shrubs are the tallest woody plants, and function as the canopy. There are very few grasses and some wildflowers, but these increase on the lower edges of a scrub when it grades into a scrubby flatwoods. Our most endangered plant communities with the greatest number of rare species.