Once widespread across the south,wet pine savannas are now limited to a very small portion of their historic area due to changing land use. Lakeshore Savanna is a prime example of this ecosystem, and home to a number of rare plants and animals.
The Conservancy is removing non-native plants such as Chinese tallow tree and Chinese privet that out-compete native plants. Prescribed fires stimulate growth of native grasses and wildflowers and limits growth of competing trees and shrubs.
Night-flowering wild petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) is critically imperiled in Mississippi. Growing to nearly 16 inches tall, the flowers usually open at night and fall by mid-morning. Typically found in wetlands, the plant flowers May to August.
Carnivorous pitcher plants thrive in nutrient-poor soils of wet pinelands. They have adapted to digest insects to meet their need for nitrogen.
Toothache grass was used by Native Americans as a local anesthetic.
Henslow's sparrow prefers running thorugh the grass instead of flying. Dining on grasshoppers and beetles, these birds thrive in flat fields with tall, dense grass, few woody plants and a dense layer of leaf litter.
Several species of rare crayfish also can be found at this preserve.
For more information on the Lakeshore Savanna Preserve, please contact Becky Stowe, Director of Forest Programs.
The Nature Conservancy
South Mississippi Conservation Program
10910 Highway 57, Suite C
Vancleave, MS 39565