Florida Rosemary is an interesting species that caught my eye in a botany class I am currently taking. Because I had never heard of it, I thought'd I'd share a little more to you about its wonders and surprises!
Ceratiola ericoides is a species native to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Here, it can be found in a scrub habitat, which is historically where these species would have lived. It is a common habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay (an endangered bird), which gives a reason for its importance within our environments. Another fun fact is that it is the only species in the Ceratiola genus.
This shrub species can reach about 6 to 8 feet tall and does not spread out that much horizontally. It has small, light green leaves that seem to mimic that of a needle whorled around the stem. It produces a small yellow fruit as well. Like I mentioned before, this species is found in the scrub, which means that C. ericoides prefers well drained soil. It prefers full sun to dappled shade.
This species can only reproduce with fire disturbance. Because of urbanization here in SWFL, this species population is becoming smaller and smaller. They do not have the correct disturbanes in order for them to reproduce and they also do not have enough habitat left for them. Do what you can and help Florida Rosemary reestablish an important role our ecosystems!
By: Maya Frere