Native Plant Communities

Upland Glade

Synonyms: Limestone Glade
Community Variants: Sandstone Glade

Upland glades are limited to North Florida.  Both Limestone Glades and a single Sandstone Glade occur in the Florida Panhandle.

Limestone Glades occur on limestone with a thin covering of soil.  Most are on slopes, some steep.  The plant community is open, in part because the high pH soils are not suited to many species that might otherwise occur.  Most are small and the largest is about 2 acres.  They are surrounded by wooded areas with somewhat deeper soils.  As an aside, this general scenario occurs at scattered locations in eastern North America with the resulting communities being unique and due to their rare substrates and isolation, having a high degree of endemism and many rare species.

The plant community is predominantly herbaceiou but has some patches of trees and shrubs.  The grassy areas are dominated by black bogrush  and/or grasses such as poverty dropseed), hairawn muhly, tlittle bluestem, pineywoods dropseed, and spreading beaksedge.  Other characteristic herbs include Cherokee sedge, lanceleaf tickseed, cypress witchgrass, false garlic, Boykin’s milkwort, starrush whitetop, diamondflowers, and Gulf spike-moss. Trees and shrubs occur mostly on edges and include red cedar , eastern redbud, sugarberry, roughleaf dogwood, white ash, yaupon  holly, and winged elm (list almost verbatum from FNAI 2010).

Rare plants  associated with this community include littletooth sedge (Carex microdonta),  green milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora), poppy mallow (Callirhoe papaver),  Carolina larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum), shootingstar (Dodecatheon meadia), eastern purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), little-people (Lepuropetalon spathulatum), pinnatelobed coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba ),  shade betony (Stachys crenata).  Other species not listed as rare but which are found in Florida only in the Limestone Glades occur.  (occurrence information from FNAI 2010)

Sandstone Glade differrs from Limesone Glade by having a sandstone substrate.  There is a single occurrence in Florida, in a TNC preserve.

Upland Glades are both rare and difficult to visit as nearly all locations are on private land.  The few that occur on public land are small and not publicized to protect the plant communities.


Clewell, A.F. 1986. Natural setting and vegetation of the Florida Panhandle - An account of the environments and plant communities of northern Florida west of the Suwannee River. Report No. COESAM/PDEI-86/001. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Alabama.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 1992. Soil and Water Relationships of Florida's Ecological Communities

Duever, Linda. 1984-85 (Winter). Florida's Natural Communities: Flatwoods. The Palmetto 4, #4:6.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). 2010. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

Knight, G. R., J. B. Oetting, and L. Cross.  2011.  Atlas of Florida's Natural Heritage - Biodiversity, Landscapes, Stewardship and Opportunities:  Institute of Science and Public Affairs, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Noss, R. F. 2013.  Forgotten Grasslands of the South - Natural History and Conservation.  Island Press, Washington.

Whitney, E.N., D. B. Means, A. Rudloe. 2004. Priceless Florida: Natural Ecosystems and Native Species. Pineapple Press.

Date Updated 0000-00-00 00:00:00


Limestone glade on private land in Jackson County.  Photo by Shirley Denton.