'Heart' of the longleaf
Longleaf pine facts and fancies:
Often called heart pine because so much of its wood is the stronger interior “heart” that makes the most durable, valuable and prettiest products.
Covered so much of the Southeast coast before colonization that it was said a squirrel could travel all the way to Florida without touching the ground.
Habitat for about 30 threatened or endangered plant and animal species, 60 percent of the reptile and amphibian species in South Carolina and more than 68 bird species.
More than 170 plant species have been documented in a quarter-acre longleaf tract.
Among rare or unusual animals found in longleaf savannas are red-cockaded woodpeckers, fox squirrels, black fox squirrels and Southern flying squirrels, flatwoods salamanders and Eastern diamondback snakes.
Among game animals are quail, deer, wild turkey and black bear.
Appalachianwoods.com, North Carolina Wesleyan College, The Longleaf Alliance, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture, americaslongleaf.org, Landscope America, The Post and Courier archives
Earlier versions of this story incorrectly stated that the keel of the Navy frigate Constitution was made from longleaf pine timber. The Post and Courier regrets the error.