Middle Atlantic Coastal Forest

Pines + Palms = Interesting!  South Carolina is home to a large assemblage of wetland communitiesas well as a diverse mix of vegetation.  I've never ever seen palms and pines together!  Hilton Head Island is 1/2 sea island and 1/2 barrier island with a tidal marsh in the middle - an essential part of the unique Carolina bays.  The local climate is humid and subtropical, often subjected to hurricanes, floods and fires and the island is mostly dry sandy soil.  As a result, the coastal areas I've been bicycling around are covered in temperate coniferous forest or coastal plains. 
Coastal Carolina Vegetation: Thriving Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana) keep their leaves year round, draped in dramatic Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) an indicator species in this southern coastal forest.  Mixed subtropical pines: Longleaf (P. palustris), Shortleaf (P. echinata) and Loblolly (P. taeda), interspersed with tropical palms: Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) and Sabal Palm (Sabal palmetto) are a dramatic background to a variety of Magnolias: Southern (M. grandiflora), Sweetbay (M. virginiana), Cucumbertree (M. acuminata) and an occasional dramatic character reference: the Sourgum Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica).

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