The photo above was taken at the abandoned town site of Old Bluffport, owned by the Sumter County Nature Trust. Throughout the Blackbelt, many exposed chalk outcroppings occur that contain native plant species not found in the lower elevations. Lower “Blackland” elevation soils are generally thicker, while upper chalky soils are thin to non-existent. Native plant species may have survived here due to the lack of plowing, but experts think the poor soil and harsh conditions will not allow introduced plants to survive. Native prairie plants have existed in this harsh environment for millennia and have adapted to the local conditions. These chalk prairie remnants could be an important “wildflower refugia”; a site where native plants can survive and flourish.

Photo taken by: Robby Limerick