Hilochee - Habitat and Management

Betsy Purdum
Remnant oak scrub


Both units at Hilochee are complex mosaics of highly disturbed upland and wetland parcels, interspersed with some high-quality natural communities. Although much of the remaining natural vegetation is classified as wetlands, Hilochee does contain some widely scattered upland parcels with relatively intact plant communities, including small patches of oak scrub.  To date, in the main unit, over 80 acres of improved pasture have been planted in native herbaceous plant species.  Where practical, restoration efforts will continue in previously disturbed habitats including pastures, pine plantations and citrus groves.


Bahia Field
Cyndi Gates
Bahia field after treatment

Large portions of Hilochee had been converted to bahia grass pastures for cattle. Restoring these areas to native grasses is extremely difficult and expensive. First the bahia must be sprayed with herbicide, followed by repeated disking and rolling. Then a seed source must be found and harvested and the seeds sown. Tropical soda apple is notorious for germinating in disturbed sites and is eliminated by hand pulling or herbiciding.

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