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Gropher tortoise photo by Ken Gioeli

Gopher Apple is Blooming in Treasure Coast Preserves (May-June 2021)

Gopher apple (Licani michauxii) is a native plant found in scrubby areas on the Florida Treasure Coast.  This diminutive shrubby plant is easily overlooked by passersby.  Its typically ankle-high and l not very showy.  However, it is an important food source for our protected gopher tortoise populations.  It blossoms May – June and will eventually produce fruit.  If you are heading out for a hike through the scrub in a Treasure Coast preserve, look for this understated plant and know its blooms will soon be providing fruit for gopher tortoises.

Gopher Apple Blossoming

Gopher Apple Blossoming photo credits: K. Gioeli

Gopher Apple

Gopher apple is an important food source for protected gopher tortoises in St. Lucie County preserves. Photo credits: K. Gioeli

Gropher tortoise photo by Ken Gioeli

Gopher tortoises are protected species.  Photo credits: K. Gioeli

UF/IFAS References
Gopher apple (Licani michauxii) UF/IFAS EDIS
Gopher Apple UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions
Gopher Apple, Geobalbanus Oblongifolius Synonym: Licania michauxii UF/IFAS EDIS
Wildlife of Florida Fact Sheet: Gopher Tortoise UF/IFAS EDIS