Longleaf Pine

Pinus palustris
Longleaf 520x289

The refuge is centrally located within the historic range of the longleaf pine belt and contains a representative spectrum of longleaf pine ecotypes, ranging from xeric sandhills to mesic flatwoods and savannahs. Refuge surveys indicate that there may be 100 to 250 understory plant species found on a given acre and at least 650 species across the refuge.

The refuge contains high-quality mesic flatwoods habitat that is home to several newly discovered breeding sites of the federally listed flatwoods salamander. The refuge also supports a portion of the world's largest functioning population of federally endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers. Rangewide, longleaf pine communities support 34 amphibian species and 38 reptile species, of which approximately one-third are longleaf pine habitat specialists. Notable among those, the refuge hosts populations of the federally threatened eastern indigo snake and of the gopher tortoise, a keystone species whose burrows provide habitat for more than 360 commensal species of vertebrates and invertebrates.

Facts About Longleaf Pine

Longleaf pines reach 150'

Needles 12-14", yellow-green, usually in bundles of 3

Cones 10", egg-shaped to cylindrical

Estimated once covered 92 million acres in the Southeast