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EASTERN BLUESTAR Amsonia tabernaemontana Walter Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae)
Submitted by Roger Hammer



This perennial wildflower reaches 3' tall with smooth stems and lanceolate to elliptic leaves from 3–4" long and ¾"­–1" wide (the uppermost leaves are sessile). It can form large, multi-stemmed clumps and is easy to see when in flower. Pale blue, ¾", star-shaped flowers are in terminal clusters. Flowering season begins in March and lasts into August so look for it in the floodplain forests of the Florida panhandle east to Columbia, Alachua, and Levy Counties. It ranges across the eastern United States to Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and is on its southern range extension in Florida.
Amsonia commemorates English physician John Amson (1698–1763) who moved to Virginia and was mayor of Williamsburg from 1750–1751. The name tabernaemontana honors Jacob Theodor von Bergzabern (1520–1590), who changed his name to Jakobus Theodorus Tabernaemontanus (literally “tavern in th…

Conference Field Trip Highlight: Camp Lonesome Conservation Area

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submitted by Jenny Welch,  Sparkleberry Chapter
Field Trip to be led by Scott Davis, Sandy Webb and Jenny Welch




Camp Lonesome Conservation Area is a rare hidden jewel and is 2443 acres.  It is included in the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area. It is also the location of one of our Conference Field Trips on Sunday May 21, 2017. Fieldtrip X. 

Purchased by the Osceola County Environmental Lands Conservation Program in 2007. The property supports several uncommon ecological communities.This field trip will take you through a variety of habitats including beautiful Old Florida landscapes characterized by pine flatwoods, palmetto prairies, live oak hammocks, mixed wetland hardwoods, cypress, freshwater marshes, wet prairies, and a rare inland cabbage palm hammock.  This will allow us to see a wide variety of native plants, birds, and animals.



Native plants we may see include native orchids, Tarflower, Bejaria racemosa, Fetterbush,  Lyonia lucida, Shoestring Fe…

Wednesday's Wildflower Whitemouth Dayflower

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Commelina erecta
submitted by Beryn Harty, Miami Dade Chapter

Whitemouth Dayflower, Commelina erecta,  is a prostrate, herbaceous, perennial wildflower with very showy morning blooms which may bloom throughout the year. The flower is  quarter sized, bright blue, with two larger ear-shaped petals and a small white lower petal (the mouth).

The typical habitat for Whitemouth Dayflower is scrubs and dry upland sites. The pollination strategy is complex: The bright yellow anthers have no pollen but attract bees who are dusted by the pollen on the smaller, less visible anthers. Insects and birds will also eat the small seeds.

Commelina erecta is named for three Dutch botanist brothers, the Commelijns.  Erecta means upright.

Beryn Harty is a member of Miami-Dade Chapter FNPS as there is no current Keys chapter.  She lives full time on Ramrod Key. 

Family Name: Commelinaceae
Genus/Species: Commelina erecta
Common Name(s): Whitemouth Dayflower, Slender dayflower
Native Range: North America South thr…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Fewflower Milkweed

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Asclepias lanceolata
submitted by Lynn Sweetay, Palm Beach Chapter




A. lanceolata is tall with a herbaceous stem that does not branch.  Leaves are very narrow and lanceolate. Flowers are orange to red and yellow. Flowering occurs in early summer. It is a larval host plant for monarch and queen butterflies and a possible larval host for soldier butterflies as well as providing nectar for monarch and other butterflies and insects.

It prefers wet to moist seasonally inundated sandy soils without humus.  This plant does not tolerate salt or drought and prefers full sun and low nutrients.   I grow one on my back patio in full sun in a pot placed in a tub of water.  It is a perennial so it will die back and then reappear. It is an occasional, but widespread understory plant in open freshwater wetlands and pinelands.

The range includes Southeastern United States north to New Jersey, west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland.  This milkweed can be found throug…

Learn About Land Management Reviews

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The schedule for the 2017/2018 Land Management Reviews is out. Being a part of Land Management Reviews is an important part of the Florida Native Plant Society mission to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. It is also a very rewarding experience for anyone who has participated in one.

At the Florida Native Plant Society's 37th Annual Conference in Maythere will be a special field trip where you can Learn About Land Management Reviews. The site for the Thursday morning training will be Lake Kissimmee State Park. Led by Eugene Kelly and Eric Egensteine (Park Manager), this trip is designed to serve as a case study for the state’s Land Management Review process.

Participants will serve as members of a mock Land Management Review team.  We will learn about the process while visiting numerous sites within the park. We will discuss the decision-making that guides natural resource management, habitat restor…

Wednesday's Wildflower:Spanish Needle

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Spanish Needle, Bidens Alba
Submitted by Donna Bollenbach, Suncoast Chapter


Nothing attracts more butterflies and bees than a simple white flower called Bidens alba. Also called Romerillo, Beggar’s Tick, Spanish Needle or Monkey’s Lice, this Florida native wildflower is the third most reliable source of nectar for pollinators in our state. There would be many starving bees and butterflies if not for the Bidens family of flowers. More so, Bidens alba and its sister plant, Bidens pilosa, are both edible and have medicinal value. Yet, many gardeners have a love/hate relationship the plant, and some even consider it a pesky weed. Why?

The word Bidens means two-toothed, which describes the needle-like seeds that flowers in this family produce in enormous amounts.  If you walk through a patch of Bidens that have gone to seed you come out looking and feeling that you were attacked by an army of little black needles, and good luck getting them out of your clothes.  The “hitchhiker” seeds are …

Wednesday's Wildflower: Scrub Lupine

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McFarlin’s Lupine/Scrub Lupine, Lupinus westianus var. aridorum / Lupinus aridorium Submitted by Tom Palmer, Hernando Chapter


This pink-flowered endemic wildflower blooms in spring in a decreasing number of locations on the Winter Haven and Mt. Dora ridges in Polk and  Orange counties.  It is a federally listed endangered species, and unlike many scrub species, it is  unknown within the Lake Wales Ridge. 
Although this plant was first proposed to be considered a separate species by James Brigham McFarlin in the 1930s, it was not formally described until 1982 by John Beckner. It was later reclassified as a variety of Lupinus westianus by Duane Isley, but a current genetic evaluation of Florida lupines reportedly may result in changes in the nomenclature that may restore it to full species status.
Scrub lupines are easily identified by pink blossoms as well as the absence of stipules, which will L. diffusus, a more common Central Florida species, when the plants are not blooming. help t…

Conservation on a Working Ranch : Adams Ranch

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FNPS Conference Field Trip Highlight: Adams Ranch Day: Thursday, May 18 at 9 am. Leaders: Anne Cox and Lee Ann Simmons
Adams Ranch is a working cattle ranch with a long history of conservation. It is the model of a successful ranch that is also protecting and preserving environmentally sensitive lands. The ranch helps to preserve the rivers, swamps, marshes, prairies and wooded areas that are on its land, and in doing so protects critical habitat for native wildlife, such as bald eagles, alligators, bobcats, turkey, hawks, owls, Caracara and so much more.
This family owned business, established in 1937 by Alto Adams Sr, and his son Alto “Bud” Adams, Jr., is committed to preserving the natural vegetation, wildlife and its Florida heritage through environmental stewardship and a program of total ranch management. The ranch has won numerous conservation awards including awards from the Florida Audubon Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservat…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Common Blue Violet

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COMMON BLUE VIOLET, Viola sororia Willd. Violet Family (Violaceae)
Submitted by Roger Hammer

The nearly orbicular, toothed leaves of this common species form a rosette measuring up to 3" across. The flowers reach ¾" wide and range from pale to rich blue (rarely white). It is not stoloniferous like many other members of the genus but may form dense colonies, especially along moist trails that bisect its habitat. It principally blooms from January through July in mesic forests throughout mainland Florida but plants may be found flowering throughout the year. In cultivation, it will spread from seed in pots and wherever there is moist, bare soil in shady situations. The seeds of many violets are explosively dehiscent and can be flung several feet away from the parent plant.
Viola is the classical Latin name for a violet and the name sororia means “sisterly,” alluding to its similarity to other violets. It is the state wildflower of Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Illinois, and New Jersey.…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Common Torchwood

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Amyris  elemifera, Common Torchwood
Submitted by Beryn Harty, Miami-Dade Chapter 
Family Name: Rutaceae
Genus/Species: Amyris elemifera
Common Name:  Common Torchwood (Another common name is Sea Torchwood, which is deceiving because  it's salt tolerance is rather low. According to the IRC, " It grows near salt water, but should be protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation."

Native Range: Eastern peninsular Florida, the West Indies, Mexico and Central America (Belize)
What kind of plant is it? : A flowering tree?
Any interesting history: Green wood used as torches, twigs are burned as incense.
What is the shape, color and size of the flower? Clusters of tiny white flowers, new leaf growth often very dark purple

What is the typical natural habitat? Hammocks
What benefits does it have with wildlife? Provides food and cover for wildlife. Larval host for Bahamian and Schaus Swallowtail butterflies. Birds and mammals eat fruits.
Propagation: (seed, seedling)
Availability: Grow…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Jack-in-the-Pulpit

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Arisaema triphyllum Submitted by Tom Palmer, Hernando Chapter 
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) emerges in floodplain forests in most of Florida at the beginning of spring. The plant’s Latin name refers to its three prominent leaves that spread above the spathe that is the “pulpit” from which the common name (also known as Parson-in-the-Pulpit) derives.
The spathe ranges from green to purple. The plant also includes a cluster of red berries that ripen later in the year.

This plant is widespread, growing all over the Eastern United States and as far north as Nova Scotia. However the plant is not uniformly distributed and sometimes may be absent or infrequent in suitable habitat.






Arisaema triphyllum was once divided into two species (A. triphyllum and A. acuminatum) based on morphological differences described by Small and others. It was originally described as Arum triphyllum in 1753. Another common name is Indian turnip. The plant can be eaten as a root vegetable if it is dried…

Reasons to Register NOW for the FNPS Conference

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Submitted by Donna Bollenbach

Registration is now open for the 2017 FNPS Conference. If you know you’re going, you should register early. If you’re undecided, I'm going to try to persuade you! Consider this a sneak preview of what’s in store for you….
Reason #1: There’s Nothing Like It

Florida Native Plant Society President, Catherine Bowman sums it up: There is nothing like it:  You will be in a place of awe inspiring, thought provoking, energizing beauty in the heart of Florida.  The Kissimmee River and Everglades Restoration Areas will extend before you to the south, as the headwaters of the St. Johns River, with its restoration projects and recreational opportunities, flow to the north.  River Ranch, once a cattle trail stop, then a dude ranch, is now a comfortable resort in this rustic, history-rich part of Florida. From River Ranch, the Florida Trail will take you down to KICCO (for Kissimmee Island Cattle Company), now a ghost town with just a few sidewalks but lots of stories…

Wednesday's Wildflower: Venus Looking-Glass

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Triodanis perfoliata  Bellflower Family (Campanulaceae)
Photo and text submitted by Roger L. Hammer, Dade Chapter

Venus’ looking-glass is a native herbaceous annual with hairy, ribbed stems and ovate to elliptic, alternate, clasping leaves that reach about ⅜"–¾" long. The axillary, sessile, 5-lobed flowers measure about ⅜" across. 
Look for this species from February into May, mostly along roadsides and other disturbed sites through the Florida panhandle, across the northern peninsula, and south in the peninsula to Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, and Volusia counties. Globally it ranges from Argentina northward throughout the United States into British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
Native Americans made a tea of the roots and leaves to help relieve indigestion and also “to make one sick all day” as a treatment for overeating. The leaves were also smoked during ceremonies.   Triodanis means “three-toothed” and possibly relates to the 3 calyx lobes on some flowe…