Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Florida Native is This?

I removed these roots, which were growing atop my septic drainfield.
When we moved into our northern Florida house, we stopped mowing the St. Augustine grass that had been planted on top of the raised septic drainfield. The grass was not doing well in that very sandy, well-drained environment. Since then, it has become a good meadow with various tenacious grasses, rushes, back-eyed susans, beggars' ticks, and these plants.  Once a year we remove the trees that sprout here because they'd ruin the integrity of the drainfield, but who knew that these monstrous roots were beneath this native plant?

Ginny Stibolt

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Smilax.

Anonymous said...

Wow, look at those gaudy fuchsia sprouts... Must be something purple.

V. Avery

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

Pokeweed, perhaps?

Buford Nature said...

Pokeweed.

Ginny Stibolt said...

You guys are good. It's pokeweed. I was surprised at their size and that they look like giant sweet potatoes. We'll post a pokeweed profile soon.

Smilax (catbriar) also has big tubers, but they are whiter and lumpier. The smilax roots usually have a peppery odor and were the source for root beer and sasparilla.

Thanks for your guesses.

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

Woo-hoo! I got it right! What do I win? Where do I go pick up my prize? Wait...oh, nevermind.