Friday Focus on Fruit: Florida Native Plant CABBAGE PALM (Sabal palmetto)

Gosh dang it!  I nurtured this tree which appeared when I allowed a section of my back property to restore starting back in 2008/9. I spotted signs of the potential for blooms for the first time this spring (2019), but hadn’t been back to that area much.  Low and behold, I MISSED the blooms.  Fruits have already set.  Not sure how frequently this tree blooms but again I wait.

Still, thrilled it has reached adulthood and is ready to reproduce and provide for wildlife.

Larval Host: Monk Skipper (Asbolis capucinus) Fruits feed mammals, nesting habitat for birds/bats

Learn: https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/sabal-palmetto

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=639

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

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?:
Friday Focus on Fruit: Florida Native Plant QUEENSDELIGHT (Stillingia sylvatica)

low growing shrub-like herb

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

an ingredient in the Hoxsey herbal tonic used as a cancer treatment: http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/stillingia

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3664

Photos of flowers: https://whatfloridanativeplantisbloomingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/queensdelight-stillingia-sylvatica-2/

https://whatfloridanativeplantisbloomingtoday.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/queensdelight-stillingia-sylvatica/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WILD COFFEE (Psychotria nervosa)

Beautiful shrub which attracts pollinators such as the Exotic European Honeybee (Apis mellifera) shown. Birds will feast on the resulting red fruits.  Said to be a Larval host for the Coffee-loving Pyrausta Moth (Pyrausta tyralis) but I have yet to find any caterpillars on this species.

Learn: http://fnps.org/plants/plant/psychotria-nervosa

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2811

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: SENSITIVE BRIER (Mimosa quadrivalvis var. angustata)

Bud depicted. The leaves fold up to touch, giving this plant part of its common name.

The pink puffball flowers are pretty to look at, but beware of the hidden prickles on the stems of this low growing vine which easily grabs the skin of your ankles.

Seeds eaten by quail, songbirds, and gopher tortoises; foliage is eaten by gopher tortoises and wild turkeys. Also provides cover. (source: http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinars/the-basics-of-longleaf-understory-establishment-enhancement/at_multi_download/relatedFiles?name=presentation.pdf)

There are two varieties (angustata and floridana) which can be differentiated by the venation of the leaves. Discussion on facebook including closeup of leaves here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/FloridaBotanyII/permalink/555826401194209/

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3370

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WHITETOP ASTER; PINEBARREN ASTER (Oclemena reticulata)

Hard to believe that this is the first time I am highlighting this beauty.  It grows back in the small mesic area of my piece of paradise and is one of the early blooming asters.

Peaking out from among Dahoon, lyonia, blueberry, huckleberry, smilax, pawpaw, grapes and more, it is in a shady location.

Learn: https://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/oclemena-reticulata

Learn more:  https://hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com/2015/05/whitetop-aster-oclemena-reticulata.html

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2355

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: NUTTALL’S THISTLE (Cirsium nuttallii)

Bienniel. Can get quite tall (4-5 ft. or more) spiny (OUCH) plant that is of great benefit to wildlife, providing for numerous insects.  Aggressively reseeds in disturbed soil such as home landscapes.

Learn: http://coastalplainplants.org/wiki/index.php/Cirsium_nuttallii

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

Larval Host: Little Metalmark Butterfly; Ive seen other notations that Cirsium spp. may be a host for the Painted lady Butterfly as well.

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=1018

A playground of biodiversity:
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/the-biodiversity-of-a-single-native-plant/

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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?: MOCK BISHOPSWEED; HERBWILLIAM (Ptilimnium capillaceum)

Delicate plant in the carrot family. Likes moist locations and may be aggressive in disturbed soil.

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

Learn more: rufino-osorio.com/articles/ptilimnium_capillaceum.pdf

Attracts Pollinators. Said to be Larval Host for black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) butterflies, but that has not been my experience. It might not be a preferred host in my region although a friend from the west side of Osceola county shared a video of the larvae feasting on her Ptilimnium capillaceum, so maybe they just haven’t found mine yet.

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=803

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: SANDWEED; PEELBARK ST.JOHN’S-WORT (Hypericum fasciculatum)

This is one of the many Hypericum species that are native to Florida. Note that the one best known as a common supplement is an exotic so is NOT native to our state

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/hypericum-fasciculatum

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=539

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/depressed-try-st-johns-wort-in-your-garden/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: PINK SUNDEW (Drosera capillaris)

Carnivorous, getting their nutrients by digesting insects which are caught on the sticky leaves.
Need a moist environment.  At my place, these plants inhabit the pond margins.

Learn: http://fnpsblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/look-at-drosera.html

Native American Ethnobotany: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Drosera+capillaris

Where does it grow in Florida: http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=831

Leaves from February 2012:

PINK SUNDEW (Drosera capillaris)

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: PICKERELWEED (Pontederia cordata)

Emergent plant for shallow water.

Learn: https://fnps.org/plants/plant/pontederia-cordata

Learn more: http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/plant-identification/alphabetical-index/pickerelweed/

“The seed of pickerelweed is eaten by waterfowl. Geese and muskrats will consume the vegetation, while only fish, and to a lesser extent birds and small mammals, utilize flooded foliage for cover.” (source: https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_poco14.pdf)

Also provides nectar/pollen for Butterflies, Bees and other Pollinators

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

Said to be edible: http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Pontederia+cordata

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3688

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: DWARF ST. JOHN’S-WORT (Hypericum mutilum)

One of the daintier Hypericum spp. it can often be overlooked with it’s delicate leaves and low growth habit. It grows in moist locations. Appreciated by early pollinators. The one commonly used in over-the-counter supplements is an exotic species.

Learn: http://www.florafinder.com/Species/Hypericum_mutilum.php

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3508

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/depressed-try-st-johns-wort-in-your-garden/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: VIRGINIA PEPPERWEED (Lepidium virginicum)

VIRGINIA PEPPERWEED (Lepidium virginicum)

Edible, but can be aggressive. The plant has a peppery, spicy smell.

Larval Host: Checkered White (Pontia protodice); Great Southern White (Ascia monuste) and possibly other white butterflies.

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2129

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

Edible: http://www.eattheweeds.com/peppergrass-potent-pipsqueak/
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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WHITE LOBELIA (Lobelia paludosa)

Dainty multiple wildflowers on a single stem reaching 1-2 ft tall. Moist locations.

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

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2079

 

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia)

May be used in making cord and said to have some use in herbal medicines/teas. may contain Ephedrine.

Can be aggressive with abundant seeds. Supports wildlife.

Learn: http://www.eattheweeds.com/sida-wireweed/

Larval host: Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon istapa), Checkered-Skippers (Pyrgus spp.),

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2741

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: WITCHGRASS (Dichanthelium sp.)

When preparing to bloom, this pretty grass gives the yard a pinkish glow, especially when the sun has just risen and it is covered in dew.

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

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

the ISB Atlas of Florida Plants lists 24 species as native to Florida:  http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Genus.aspx?id=27

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: STARRUSH WHITETOP (Rhynchospora colorata)

A tiny arachnid is patiently waiting.

Although it is called starRUSH, it is actually a sedge. Found where it is wet. Attract insect pollinators, although it is is in the sedge family which is primarily wind-pollinated.

Learn: http://fnps.org/plants/plant/rhynchospora-colorata

Where does it grow in Florida: http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=726

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: MANYFLOWER MARSHPENNYWORT (Hydrocotyle umbellata)

MANYFLOWER MARSHPENNYWORT (Hydrocotyle umbellata)

Groundcover for moist to wet locations. Can be aggressive, but a good lawn alternative since it can be mowed and holds up to pet paws.

Great cover for reptiles and perfect for pollinators.

Considered a pest in formals lawns when it can take hold due to OVERWATERING.

Learn: http://www.fnps.org/plants/plant/hydrocotyle-umbellata

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3906

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/covering-the-ground-why-fight-mother-nature/

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: LADIESTRESSES (Spiranthes sp.)

This dainty spring wildflower, a member of the orchid family was being pollinated by a tiny member of the Diptera order. There are 16 species listings of Spiranthes in Florida listed in the ISB atlas.

Learn: http://flnativeorchids.com/natives_gallery/index.htm?view=table&color=5&date=-1&sort=common

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Results.aspx?cat=genus&text=Spiranthes

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WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?: HELMET SKULLCAP (Scutellaria integrifolia)

Spring bloomer appeared alongside the fence at the culvert. Readily reseeds.

Learn: http://fnps.org/plants/plant/scutellaria-integrifolia

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

Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3494

Seeds available: http://www.floridawildflowers.com/products/Scutellaria-integrifolia-%252d-Helmet-Skullcap.html

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