WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: COASTALPLAIN STAGGERBUSH (Lyonia fruticosa)

staggerbushDec2018

What a surprise.  Probably 7-8 ft tall. This appeared out of a thicket of Saw Palmetto, Muscadine and Blackberry which surround a Long Leaf Pine. It must have fought for its place in the sun.

Member of the heath family. important nectar source. (source:
http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/florida_forestry_information/events_calendar/files/plant_id_workshop_booklet_pdf.pdf)

Also called rusty lyonia or rusty staggerbush. Outstanding feature is the pretty rust colored pubescense which coats the leaves of new growth. closely related to L. ferruginea which IFAS reports: “pubescence …reportedly works to protect new growth from harmful insects.” (source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp357) BUT, having seen a shrub completely defoliated by the larvae of the Datana sp. would seem to discount that theory.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/lyonia-fruticosa

Larval host: Prominent Moth Caterpillar (Datana spp.)

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Lyonia+fruticosa

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=679

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/garden-bells-are-ringing-the-heath-family/

Coastalplain Staggerbush (Lyonia fruticosa)

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: DOGFENNEL (Eupatorium capillifolium)

Super wildlife benefit from this feathery pollinator-loving native. Best left to natural environments due to it’s opportune nature in disturbed situations such as those created by a home garden. Shown is a pollinating soldier beetle.

Learn: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/eupcap/all.html

Learn more: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=265467

Where does it grow in Florida?  http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3716

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Eupatorium

Said to be used as a spice, but contains pyrrolizidine so proceed with caution.

My take:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/hey-my-dogfennel-is-buzzing/

Take II: http://osceolaflgardenblahblahblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/sweet-and-graceful.html

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™
Friday Focus on Fruit: Florida Native Plant WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)

Pretty aromatic tree. Watch the thorns! Provides cover for fauna, fruits eaten by wildlife.

Larval host: Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) and Schaus’ Swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemus) (in range)

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/zanthoxylum-fagara

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Zanthoxylum+fagara

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2804

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: PINELAND RAYLESS GOLDENROD (Bigelowia nudata subsp. australis)

This subsp. is endemic to Florida. Moist locations.

Learn: http://hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com/2013/10/coastalplain-rayless-goldenrod.html

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1207

My take:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/goldenrod-beyond-solidago/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: SLENDER FLATTOP GOLDENROD (Euthamia caroliniana)

Moist locations. Loved by pollinators, especially native bees and wasps.

Learn: https://web.archive.org/web/20180212123245/https://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Euthcaro

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Euthamia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3268

My take:  https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/goldenrod-beyond-solidago/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: HURRICANEGRASS (Fimbristylis cymosa)

syn. F. spathacea; Not a grass but a sedge (CYPERACEAE); Also called fringe rush and yet, it isn’t a rush.

The smoothness of the stalk that holds the flower mass had me researching this as a rush. A check of the leaves reveals the characteristic edge feel in the rhyme “sedges have edges…”.

Food for ducks and geese. Low growing.

Learn: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/165

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1307

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: WINGLEAF PRIMROSEWILLOW (Ludwigia decurrens)

Larval host for Banded Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha fasciatus)

There are 27 Florida Native varieties of Ludwigia spp. according to ISB Atlas. There also is one (L. peruviana) that is a category I INVASIVE according to FLEPPC

I have several different native species on my lot, but this is my favorite, with its wider leaves and tiny flowers, it grows upright. Its an annual and appears later than the others in this genus.

Learn: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=LUDE4

Learn more: https://aquaplant.tamu.edu/plant-identification/alphabetical-index/water-primrose/wingleaf-primrose/

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Ludwigia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3228
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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: GRACEFUL SANDMAT (Euphorbia sp. likely hypericifolia)

One of the spurges . syn. Chamaesyce hypericifolia

Learn: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/syllabi/308/Lists/Fourth%20Edition/Euphorbiahypericifolia.pdf

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Chamaesyce+hypericifolia

“Formerly included in the genus Chamaesyce, this species is reclassified under Euphorbia subg. Chamaesyce sect. Anisophyllum subsect. Hypericifoliae.”

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2803

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: WOODLAND FALSE BUTTONWEED (Spermacoce remota)

Low growing member of the Madder family. Good for pollinators; seeds feed ground feeding birds.

Learn: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/spermacoce_remota.htm

Learn: https://web.archive.org/web/20160310140415/https://regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asp?TXCODE=Sperpros

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3078

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™
Friday Focus on Fruit: Florida Native Plant LIVE OAK (Quercus virginiana)

Beautiful hardwood tree provides great shade but needs room to grow.  Wonderful wildlife value, supports larvae of many species of butterflies, moths, wasps. Provides nesting area for birds and mammals.

Learn: https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/quercus-virginiana

“Southern live oak acorns are an important food source for many birds and mammals, including northern bobwhite, Florida scrub jay, mallard, sapsuckers, wild turkey, black bear, squirrels, and white-tailed deer. Because of fall germination, the acorns are not available for very long [40]. Southern live oaks in Texas coastal prairies provide shade for wildlife and livestock”  source: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/quevir/all.html

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Quercus+virginiana

Article on Ethnobotany: https://www.fnps.org/assets/pdf/palmetto/v22i4p12austin.pdf

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3904

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: AXILFLOWER (Mecardonia acuminata subsp. peninsularis)

low growing, dainty wildflower. This subspecies is endemic to Florida. I always find these out along the culvert.

Learn: https://web.archive.org/web/20160914033142/http://regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asp?TXCODE=Mecaacumpeni

Learn more: http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H353.htm

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1112

More photos: https://whatfloridanativeplantisbloomingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/axilflower/

 

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: BUSHY BLUESTEM GRASS (Andropogon sp. likely glomeratus)

Very tall, showy native bunch grass. Leave in place to dry over the winter as food for flocks of birds. The warblers will latch on and sway as they dine. Provides cover for wildlife.

Several varieties of this species are native to Florida. This one is most likely A. glomeratus var. pumilus

I cut some to use as a free alternative to cornstalks as Halloween decorations,

Larval Host: Possible larval host plant for Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan), Georgia satyr (Neonympha areolata), neamathla skipper (Nastra neamathla), swarthy skipper (Nastra lherminier) and twin-spot skipper (Oligoria maculata) butterflies (source: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/andropogon-glomeratus)

Learn: http://floridagrasses.org/Grass_data/An_glomeratus.html

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Andropogon+glomeratus

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3364

My take: http://web.archive.org/web/20130902073424/http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/arranging-native-plants/

Seeds available: http://www.floridawildflowers.com/products/Andrapogon-glomeratus-%252d-Bushy-Bluestem.html

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: CORAL HONEYSUCKLE; TRUMPET HONEYSUCKLE (Lonicera sempervirens)

Well behaved twining vine that will climb a fence, arbor or cover the ground if there is nothing to climb. Better blooms when there is support. Will retain leaves except in colder temperatures.

Attracts: hummingbirds, butterflies; fruits attract birds, great cover for rabbits/reptiles

larval host: Spring Azure Butterfly (Celastrina ladon); Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar (Hypercompe scribonia) and Snowberry Clearwing Moth (Hemaris diffinis) (in range)

Learn: http://fnps.org/plants/plant/lonicera-sempervirens

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Lonicera

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3861

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/leap-year-in-the-garden/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: SHOWY MILKWORT (Asemeia violacea)

synonym: Polygala violacea

Dainty wildflower, low growing so easily overlooked. Annual, easily reseeds itself. Found along the culvert at the front of the house.

Learn: https://regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/PD_PFriendly.asp?tx=Polyviol

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3191

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: AMERICAN ELDER; ELDERBERRY (Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis)

“At least 50 species of songbirds, upland game birds, and small mammals relish the fruit of American elder during summer and early fall. White-tailed deer browse the twigs, foliage and fruit during the summer. American elder is outstanding as nesting cover for small birds. During summer, the partial shade under American elder promotes a dense ground cover of grasses and forbs that offers good loafing or feeding areas for broods of young pheasants and quail.

American elder can be used for erosion control on moist sites. It pioneers on some strip-mine spoils and may occasionally be useful for reclamation planting.

…Elderberries are also attractive to makers of pies, jellies and wine”

caution: new growth may be toxic to livestock.

source: USDA Fact Sheet:
http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_sanic4.pdf

“Sambucol might therefore be beneficial to the immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases. Sambucol could also have an immunoprotective or immunostimulatory effect when administered to cancer or AIDS patients, in conjunction with chemotherapeutic or other treatments.” source: Barak V, Halperin T, Kalickman I., The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2001 Apr-Jun;12(2):290-6.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/sambucus-nigra-subsp-canadensis

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Sambucus

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2186

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY™?: DOCTORBUSH (Plumbago zeylanica)

DOCTORBUSH (Plumbago zeylanica)

Low growing, vine-like which if grouped can be used as a groundcover for shade. Extremely sticky seeds

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/plumbago-zeylanica

Larval host: Cassius Blue Butterfly (Leptotes cassius)

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Plumbago+zeylanica

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2781

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/a-day-for-veterans/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™
Friday Focus on Fruit: Florida Native Plant VIRGINIA CREEPER; WOODBINE (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Deciduous vine in the grape family provides spectacular fall color. can be grown on masonary surfaces without damage but use caution if planted near painted surfaces.

Can be grown as a ground cover but will always attempt to climb anything nearby. Freely self seeds so can be aggressive, but provides great cover and food value for wildlife especially insects and birds.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/parthenocissus-quinquefolia

Larval Host: Moths including several Sphinx moths.

Learn more wildlife value: http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_paqu2.pdf

Sap may cause allergic reaction to some.

Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=parthenocissus+quinquefolia

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3742

Photos of various growth cycles/wildlife benefit: https://whatfloridanativeplantisbloomingtoday.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/virginia-creeper-2/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: SHYLEAF (Aeschynomene americana)

SHYLEAF (Aeschynomene americana)

a.k.a. Jointvetch

Aggressive but delicate member of the pea family. Can reach heights of 4 ft. “annual grazing crop
that can be cut for hay before maturity.”

Prolific seeds feed: quail, dove and turkey; attracts pollinators, grazed by deer.

Learn: http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_aeam.pdf

Larval host: Barred Yellow Butterfly (Eurema daira);  Pale-edged Selenisa Moth (Selenisa sueroides)

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2805

My take: https://web.archive.org/web/20150406150156/http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/in-a-wildlife-garden-it-isn%E2%80%99t-shy-at-all/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: SWAMP HORNPOD (Mitreola sessilifolia)

Also called Miterwort

Dainty low growing wildflower, easily overlooked.

Learn: https://warcapps.usgs.gov/PlantID/Species/Details/2621

Learn more: http://hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com/2015/09/swamp-hornpod-mitreola-sessilifolia.html

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=843

More photos: https://whatfloridanativeplantisbloomingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/swamp-hornpod-mitreola-sessilifolia/

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