Showing posts from September, 2012

Plant Profile: Pignut Hickory, Carya glabra

By Travis Ballard This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Biology students at Jacksonville University. Figure 1. Yellow-green leaflets on the compound leaf of C. glabra . Photo by Shirley Denton Classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Juglandales Family: Juglandaceae Genus: Carya Specific epithet: glabra Description Carya glabra , pignut hickory, is a hardwood tree found along the eastern coast of North America. Pignut hickory is one of seven Carya species found in Florida, where it is common in both the central and northern portions of the state. At typically 60' in height and half that in width, this tree's oval-shaped canopy and sturdy branches provide the foundation for a terrific shade tree. It grows in mesic to dry hammocks, where it is often associated with oaks ( Quercus spp.). The leaves on a pignut hickory tree are odd-pinnately compound (usually with 5 or 7 leaflets

Plant Profile: Simpson’s applecactus, Harrisia simpsonii

By Shelby Truesdell and Jodi Coia Figure 1. Simpson’s applecactus. Photo credit: Keith Bradley. This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Plant Taxonomy students at Jacksonville University. Classification Domain: Eukaryota Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Tracheophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Caryophyllales Family: Cacataceae Genus: Harrisia Specific epithet: simpsonii   Common Name: Simpson’s applecactus Botanical Name: Harrisia simpsonii Habitat Figure 2. Fruit of Simpson’s applecactus. Photo credit: Greg Masoner. Harrisia simpsonii is an endangered cactus that is endemic to Florida.  The cactus is found in Florida’s southernmost counties: Miami-Dade, Monroe Mainland, and the Monroe Keys. Simpson’s applecactus grows well in coastal hammocks and does best in soil pH of 6.1, to 7.8. The cactus can tolerate some amount of salt and brackish water because of its location near the coast and is tolerant of drought cond

Plant Profile: Taxus floridana, Florida Yew

La’Ena Schmick and Elizabeth Ramirez This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Botany students at Jacksonville University. Figure 1. Taxus floridana , Florida Yew Classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Coniferophyta Class: Pinopsida Order: Taxales Family: Taxaceae Genus: Taxus Specific epithet: floridana Description Taxus floridana , or Florida Yew, is a member of the Coniferophyta family and one of two species in the family Taxaceae recorded in Florida. It is an endemic and endangered species found only on the Apalachicola River between Chattahoochee and Bristol in Gadsden and Liberty County. Torreya taxifolia , another endangered species in the same family, is also found in the same counties as T. floridana , in addition to Jackson County. Figure 2. Linear leaves surround this seed, itself enclosed in a red aril. This evergreen shrub or small tree can be recognized by its spreading, horizontal branches and soft and linear

Volunteers Help Plant 4,500 Native Plants at Bok Tower Gardens

Guest blog by Martin Corbin, Bok Tower Communications Director With 4,500 holes to dig... Bok Tower Gardens is one of Florida’s oldest attractions and a perfect daytrip for those looking for outdoor fun. Behind acres of landscaped gardens, a 20-room historic mansion, and Singing Tower carillon bells, lies a deep-seated commitment to conservation. Founder Edward Bok’s motto to, “make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it,” is the organization's guiding principle. Preservation of the lands adjacent to the Gardens figures prominently on our priority list. Visitors don’t often see the extent of the effort put into these projects, but can certainly appreciate the end product on our entrance road - a meandering drive through citrus groves and other undeveloped natural areas. One of our largest preservation endeavors started in 2007 when we acquired 156 acres of fallow citrus lands with funds from the Florida Communities Trust. We are current

Plant Profile: Purple Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata

By Kalli Unthank and Hanna Feik This post is one of a series from professor Nisse Goldberg's Biology students at Jacksonville University. Figure 1. Corona of banded filaments on P. incarnata . Photo credit: Asit K. Ghosh. Classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Violales Family: Passifloraceae Genus: Passiflora Specific epithet: incarnata Description The striking Passiflora incarnata (also called purple passionflower and maypop) is one of six native Passiflora species in Florida. Purple passionflower is a liana (a woody vine) that is found throughout the state, often in open and disturbed areas. This fast-growing vine is listed as an invasive elsewhere in the US because it spreads easily, growing from suckers at the roots. Figure 2. Fritillary caterpillar noshing on P. incarnata . Photo credit: Capital Gal The fragrant flower is a vibrant purple with ten tepals, although some experts distinguish the sepals from the

Arbor Day Foundation & Florida

 Arbor Day Foundation website presents important educational material. The Arbor Day Foundation has played a big part to help people, cities and towns plant more trees since 1865 when J. Sterling Morton started this foundation. In Florida alone there are 165 Tree Cities . We've discussed this organization in these previous posts: Florida's Arbor Day: Third Friday in January  and our followup post on our members' favorite trees: Your Favorite Trees .  So yes, The Arbor Day Foundation has done a lot to increase awareness of the importance of trees even in urban and suburban environments and presents a lot of good educational material. BUT... With their membership packages, they make it almost irresistable to acquire trees from their Nebraska-based nursery. Where I live in northern Florida, the 10 free trees offered are 3 redbuds, 4 dogwoods and 3 goldenraintrees, plus I could qualify for 2 crape myrtles.  Arbor Day Foundation offers  I have a problem