By Walter Bryant, MGV
Any time of the year is a good time to visit the Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve but, in the fall, the native wildflowers blooming in the sandhills are especially beautiful.
The preserve is a long peninsula where the Julington and Durbin Creeks merge. The center of the preserve is a sandhill bordered by mesic flatwoods that transition into floodplain swamp and marsh. The nine miles of wetlands along the two creeks provide water quality and floodplain protection for the creeks and the St. Johns River. Several well-maintained trails cross the sandhill ridge.
Members of the Florida Native Plant Society have identified over 450 species of plants in the preserve including the extremely rare Bartram’s Ixia (Calydorea caelestina) which is native to a very small area of northeast Florida. In addition to plants, the property’s management plan lists sixty-three species of birds, nineteen species of reptiles, seven species of amphibians and twelve species of mammals that are found in the preserve.
- Chamaecrista fasciculata – Partridge Pea
- Carphephorus corymbosus – Florida Paintbrush
- Chrysopsis gossypina – Cottony Goldenaster
- Eupatorium rotundifolium – Roundleaf Thoroughwort
- Hypericum crux-andreae – St. Peters Wort
- Hypericum hypericoides – St. Andrew’s Cross
- Liatris pauciflora – Blazing Star
- Nekemias arborea – Peppervine
- Pityopsis graminifolia – Narrowlead Silkgrass
- Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium – Rabbit Tobacco
- Sabatia grandiflora – Marsh Pink
- Solidago chapmanii – Chapman’s Goldenrod
- Trichostema setaceum – Narrowleaf Bluecurls
There were many more asters, grasses, shrubs and other wildflowers in bloom. If you want to visit one of the best places in northeast Florida to see fall blooming plants, Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve is it.
Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve is located at 13130 Bartram Park Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32258 in southern Duval County near the St. Johns County line.