Showing posts from May, 2017
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

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

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

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…