Lake Monroe is located in central Florida and is part of the St. Johns River system. The lake covers 9,406 acres and spans both Seminole and Volusia counties. The lake has a conservation area which includes the Lake Monroe Wildlife Management Area. This region is home to a variety of fish, animals, mixed forests and numerous plants.
Volusia Pawpaw (Deeringothamnus rugelii)
The Volusia pawpaw is commonly known as Rugal’s false pawpaw and is listed as endangered. This plant only occurs naturally in Volusia County. The plant is found near poorly draining slash pines or longleaf pine flatwood areas among the wiregrass and saw palmetto. It is a woody based shrub with arching shoots that have oblong, leathery leaves that are 1 1/2 to 3 inches in length. In early spring, the plant produces yellow scented flowers that have 6 petals and 3 sepals. Rugel’s False Pawpaw’s fruit is yellow-green in color and about 1 to 3 inches long in the shape of a peanut.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
The saw palmetto is native to North and South Carolina, as well as coastal regions from Florida to Louisiana. This plant is a branched fan palm that grows on an upright, angled stem. The saw palmetto rises 2 to 9 feet in length and has 2-to-3-foot-long, serrated-edge leaves that generate from the stem. The plant is 2 to 3 feet wide and grows a cluster of 1/2-inch-wide green fruit that turns black when ripe. Usually the saw palmetto is located in wetlands, moist forests, dry scrubs, seaside, sand dunes or pinewoods.
Lanceleaf Greenbriar (Smilax lanceolata)
The lanceleaf greenbriar is a perennial evergreen shrub that grows on a vine. It is found in the southern region of the United States. The leaves of the plant are 2 to 5 inches long and shaped like a lance. This plant cultivates a whitish-green flower that smells similar to jasmine. The plant’s flower blooms April through July. The lanceleaf greenbriar produces small fruit in its second year of growing in the form of a blackish-red berry that contains two seeds. These plants are common food for wildlife like deer, wood ducks, turkeys and song birds.
Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
The cabbage palm is the official state tree of Florida and is known worldwide to symbolize Florida. This tall palm tree grows singularly or in groves along the Florida coast line. It is also found in the elevated areas that grow over marshy regions, known as tropical hardwood hammocks. This palm can be located in pine flatwood as well, due to Florida's diverse landscape. The tree can grow to be 80 feet tall and has a straight trunk with gray to brown bark. The leaves of the cabbage palm are fan-shaped, containing 40 to 90 blades that are 4 to 5 feet in length and 1 to 2 inches wide. They are dark green in color with a lighter green underneath. The cabbage palm tree grows clusters of smooth berries on long stems; each berry is only about 1/2 inch long.