Tortoise Plants For Florida Reference

jwr0201

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
41
Location (City and/or State)
Sarasota, FL
A Florida Guide To Gopher Tortoise Friendly Plants
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


I was researching tortoise friendly plants and came across this article. It is a thorough, clearly written piece that includes a food value for the plants. It also has listings for various regions around the state.
Since we are raising different tortoise species, a couple of questions arise after seeing this…
Are plants that are safe for one species also safe for others? What are your favorite - or your tort's favorite plants? :tort:
 

MichaelL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
883
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
A Florida Guide To Gopher Tortoise Friendly Plants
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

I was researching tortoise friendly plants and came across this article. It is a thorough, clearly written piece that includes a food value for the plants. It also has listings for various regions around the state.
Since we are raising different tortoise species, a couple of questions arise after seeing this…
Are plants that are safe for one species also safe for others? What are your favorite - or your tort's favorite plants? :tort:
I'm not 100% sure, but I'd assume that safe for one species means safe for another. But, there is a possibility that native species, such as the gopher tortoise, have adapted to be able to eat certain native plants that would be toxic to a species from a different part of the world. Just a speculation.

My Russians' favorite plants, that they would absolutely never refuse, have to be romaine (the white part they love even more than the green), hibiscus flowers (they love specifically the ovule part), and clover flowers. Those are things they would love to eat all day, every day. I don't really feed these things much, just as a treat.

Plants they really like, but not AS much as the ones above, are collards, florida pusley, hawksbeard, mulberry leaves (more enjoyed by the female), sow thistle, cudweed, virginia pepperweed, sheep's sorrel, chickweed, dwarf plantain, and florida tasselflower (florida tasselflower really liked by only my male). Some of these are more enjoyed by one tortoise than the others, but overall they fit into this category of really liked. Also, my tortoises have slightly different preferences, so it may vary a little, but generally these plants generally fit into this category for both of them.

Plants they don't like much but may eat, and won't make a full meal out of and will just nibble, include wild muscadine grape leaves, mimosa, creeping beggarweed, and horseherb.

Plants they will never ever eat are lyreleaf sage, spanish needle, hibiscus leaves (it's a shame, I have such huge bushes and so many leaves), dollarweed, sweet gum leaves, and caesarweed.

My baby already is showing preferences. She loves florida pusley, collards, hibiscus flowers, mulberry leaves, and clover flowers. I won't give her romaine because I want to start off healthy but I know she would love it. She also will eat, but doesn't love, hibiscus leaves, creeping indigo, and mazuri pellets.
 
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