Two Florida scrub endemics
|The welcome sign for Hickory Lake Scrub.|
|Besides the plants there is a rich ecosystem filled with critters. It's fun to examine the tracks in the sandy soil to guess what has taken place.|
Here are two endemic plants that I found:
Scrub morning glory (Bonamia grandiflora)
|Scrub morning glory with its pale lavender flowers.|
|Bonamia grandiflora distribution|
It is threatened and endangered and various sources state that there are only 100 populations remaining. Most of them have been lost due to development and fire suppression. This plant is not only adapted to fire with its deep roots, but it requires the fire to clear out overhead vegetation
Isn't it gorgeous?
For more information read the profile at The Center for Plant Conservation. It's interesting to note that "Bonamia grandiflora is fully sponsored and the primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is Bok Tower Gardens."
Hickory Lake scrub is only a few miles from Bok Tower.
Feay's palafox (Palafoxia feayi)
|Feay's palafox, a shrubby member of Asteraceae.|
|Palafoxia feayi distribution|
The flower head doesn't have the typical petal-like ray florets, just the central disk florets, but they were so pretty. I was relieved when I eventually figured it out. I love the cool palafox name—who knew? It was named for a Spanish general who fought against Napoleon.
It is endemic to Florida, but is not listed as threatened.
There are 3 species native to Florida, but Texas palafox (P. taxana) has only been vouchered for 1 county in the Panhandle. The coastal plain palafox (P. integrefolia) is a little more widespread: it also occurs in Georgia and is more often found in the native plant trade, but is not as shrubby as Feay's palafox.
Read Craig Huegel's profile of Palafoxia feayi and the IRC's listing including the 37 conservation areas where it occurs.
The scrub habitat is criticalVisit the scrub conservation areas and be sure to sign the book or register your presence so managers have real numbers to report back to justify their conservation. Please let your elected representatives know that you want these habitats to be preserved and vote "Yes!" on Amendment #1 in November.
Written and posted by Ginny Stibolt
Photos by Ginny Stibolt