We are excited to see the Atala butterflies are back at the park in large numbers. The coontie plants are covered in caterpillars.

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Lignum Vitae Flowers - Roger L. Hammerby: Roger L. Hammer

Lignum Vitae

One of the most beautiful flowering trees in the flora of southern Florida is Lignum Vitae (Guajacum sanctum). The genus name Guajacum was derived from an aboriginal name for the tree, and the species name sanctum means “sacred.” The wood of this tree is extremely dense and rich in resin, making the tree highly sought by woodworkers and for use as bushings on drive shafts. The spinning drive shaft heats the wood and releases the oils, creating a natural lubricant.

The common name of this state-listed endangered species is Latin for “wood of life.” The tree was also called “Sailor’s Cure” in Spanish because the resin in the wood was once believed to be a cure for sLignum Vitae Seeds - Roger L. Hammeryphilis.

The leaves of Lignum Vitae are fed upon by the larvae of the lyside sulphur butterfly and the bright red seeds are eaten by mockingbirds, catbirds, and blue-headed vireos. Beautiful blue flowers appear several times a year attract a number of butterfly species, principally skippers.

If you are looking for a classy tree for your home landscape, this is the tree for you. Although it is a bit more expensive compared to other more commonly  cultivated trees, it is worth every single penny, and the birds and butterflies it attracts are free.

NOTE: Arch Creek Park has a few Lignum Vitae trees throughout the park. One is located in the front open field space by the main gate.

Happy Autumn!

It is one of the best times of year to get out into the parks and see the sights and enjoy the weather change. The park is currently buzzing with the visiting warblers and other migratory birds.  Yesterday the bird baths had lines forming.

Visit our calendar for a list of upcoming opportunities to experience this wonderful time of year at the park.

Most of our programs, you can now reserve online by visiting the following link,, select “Arch Creek Park” in the Place search field.
Even our shelter can be reserved for your next party or gathering online at, select “Arch Creek Park” in the Location search field.

Arch Creek Park will be offering Camp Manatee Winter Camp this year, look out for an email announcement for dates and fees.

We hope to see you all at the Park!


Lately there has been an increase in wildlife at the park. Hummingbirds have been observed visiting the fire bush throughout the park, even along military trail (internal park road).  There have been at least 6 Painted Bunting feeding in the grass near the large chickee in the rear of the park. A Carolina Praying Mantis has been seen hanging out around the mailbox on multiple occasions. A Coral Snake was reportedly seen. Queen Butterflies have been visiting the flowers, as well as a few Atalas.  The park is very active, so come by and see if you can spot the visitors mentioned above or maybe report a new sighting of your own.