Date Posted: Feb 05, 2016
Also known as largeflower jointweed, sandhill wireweed is a deciduous woody shrub that produces an abundance of spike-like flowering clusters.
Sandhill wireweed is mostly a summer and fall bloomer, with October being its most abundant blooming time, but many of these plants were blossoming last weekend at Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park in Polk County. It occurs naturally in dunes, scrub and sandhills, and is primarily pollinated by bees. Its seeds are eaten by birds.
Sandhill wireweed is endemic to Florida. It occurs nowhere else in the world.
The genus name Polygonella (as well as the family name Polygonaceae) is derived from the Greek words poly, meaning “many” and goni, meaning “knee or joint.” This refers to the swollen nodes that many of the species in the family possess.
Read more about sandhill wireweed on our blog.
Date Posted: Jan 29, 2016
Tread-softly's common name is also a warning to heedless handlers. As its name suggests, one must tread softly around it or else risk being stung by the many stinging hairs that cover its leaves, stems, seeds and even flowers. The hairs contain an irritant that can cause a rash in some people. Despite its stinging hairs and its inclusion in the spurge family, tread-softly is not a true nettle. It does, however, produce the milky sap common to other members of the Euphorbiaceae family.
It’s easy to see how tread-softly gets its common name, and its scientific name is just as telling. The genus Cnidoscolus is derived from the Greek cnid, meaning “nettle” and scolus, meaning “thorn.” The species epithet comes from the Latin stimul, meaning “to goad, prod or urge,” as in a “stimulus.”
Tread-softly is known to flower year-round. It occurs naturally in sandhills, scrub, pine and scrubby flatwoods, and ruderal and disturbed areas. It attracts many butterflies and other pollinators.
Read more about tread-softly on our blog.
Date Posted: Jan 20, 2016
Join the Florida Wildflower Foundation for an interactive edible plant walk at Lake County's PEAR Park on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. until noon.
Stacey Matrazzo, FWF program manager, will lead us on a leisurely walk, on which we will taste, touch and smell some of the native plants growing in PEAR Park's native plant demonstration garden. Learn which are edible, which have medicinal properties and which have cultural and historical importance.
Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR) Park Nature Center and Wildlife Conservation Area is a "passive” recreation area with several miles of trails to explore, a beautiful new bird blind and native plant demonstration landscape, ephemeral wetlands, xeric and butterfly demonstration gardens, 50 acres of scrub jay restoration, five acres of meadow restoration and much more. Bordered on two sides by the Palatlakaha River, this area holds a vast amount of wildlife and plants for the avid birder or naturalist to discover.
The field trip will begin at 10 a.m. and will last approximately 2 hours. Bring your cameras and binoculars and allow some time after the plant walk to explore the rest of the park.
This event is free for FWF members; the cost for non-members is $15. For more information and to register, click here.
Date Posted: Jan 22, 2016
False rosemary (Conradina canescens) is an aromatic and robust, evergreen flowering shrub. It typically blooms from March through November, but can occur year-round. (A population in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa County was flowering last weekend.) It occurs naturally in sand pine scrub and sandhills.
Many pollinator species are attracted to false rosemary, but bees are the most prominent visitor.
There are only six species of Conradina worldwide; all are native to the United States and four are native to Florida. (Some experts consider Conradina brevifolia to be its own species, but the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants considers it a synonym of Conradina canescens.)
Read more about false rosemary on our blog.
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