Whitetassels

30 Jun

Hey a new post! Found a new flower for the blog this past weekend at Colt Creek State Park.  Whitetassels – Dalea carnea

Not sure how it got the name Whitetassels, it is a lovely shade of lavender. Big bumble bees seemed to enjoy the flowers as well.

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Common Dayflower

30 Aug

The rain this year has been good for the Common Dayflower. It is not a true native, and grows wild in many lawns (especially mine!). It spreads along the ground and roots easily, making it hard to eliminate from the landscape. But the tiny blue blossoms make what remain a bit more welcoming!

There is a native Dayflower, but it has 2 blue flower petals, with the third one white.

Common Dayflower - Commelina diffusa

 

Cardinal Flower

27 Jul

Cardinal Flower is a Florida native plant that thrives in wet areas. If you canoe or kayak along the Wekiva, Withlacoochee or any of our other wild waterways during the summer, you’ll likely see this bright red flower along the shore. The flowers are so nice, that it has become a popular nursery plant, so you can easily purchase plants on-line to try them in your own garden. Just be sure to pick a moist shady area. It is a great hummingbird attractor too!

Cardinal Flower - Lobelia cardinalis

Ball Moss in bloom

24 Jul

Ball Moss is most commonly found growing on Live Oak trees in Central and South Florida. If you see a fuzzy grey ball growing on a tree – it is most likely Ball Moss. But it is not an actual moss –  it is a true flowering plant, related to pineapple, Spanish moss, and other bromeliads. An epiphyte, meaning it does not take nutrients or water from its host, it causes no harm to the tree. It gets nutrients from the atmosphere and rain. During spring and summer it produces lovely tiny purple flowers. A brown seed pod follows.

Ball Moss - Tillandsia recurvata

Golden Polypody

22 Jul

The Golden Polypody is also known as the Cabbage Palm Fern, since that is where you’ll most likely see this plant growing throughout Florida.

It is an epiphytic fern with large arching 2′ fronds which sprout out from a rhizome attached to the palm. The rhizomes are brown and hairy resembling a rabbit’s foot.

Golden Polypody - Phlebodium aureum

Resurrection Fern

8 Jul

Resurrection Fern is a small fern that grows on the branches of  Live oaks & large Cypress trees. It is an epiphyte, meaning that it takes nutrients from the air and  water that collects on the tree. It does not feed on the tree itself.

During dry weather the Resurrection fern is brown, shriveled and dead looking. But once the rain comes it “resurrects” or comes back to life and its brown fronds unfold to green. After a few days without rain, it shrivels once again.

These photos were taken right outside my front door of a cluster of Resurrection fern growing on a Live oak tree.

Resurrection fern

Resurrection fern - Polypodium polypodioides

Resurrection Fern - drying up and starting to shrivel

Tropical Puff

29 Jun

This yellow flowering sensitive plant was found growing along the roadside near Ozello, Florida.

The sprawling, low growing creeper has leaves that will curl up when touched. Very similar to the pink Mimosa microphylla, but with no thorns and yellow round flowers. A member of the pea family,  it is the larval host plant for the Ceraunus Blue butterfly.

Tropical Puff - Neptunia pubescens

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