Monday, April 05, 2010

Grab Bag of Florida and Alabama Plants

I haven't had time to sort through a lot of botany photos from the last week, since there is so much going on. It is fun to be in a new place and learning new things. If the lack of chronological order bothers you, maybe the alphabetical order will appease you.

I love the woody diversity in wetlands down here. Black Titi or Buckwheat Tree (Cliftonia monophylla) is in full bloom right now. It looks pretty similar to Cyrilla racemiflora or Swamp Titi, but Cliftonia lacks the obvious lateral veins on the underside of the leaves. I will have to keep my eyes open and add a Cyrilla photo when I find one.
Toothache Grass (Ctenium aromaticum) had very aesthetically pleasing spikes remaining from last years growth. These were at the seepage bog Kelly and I visited on the east side of Eglin.
There were several sundews (Drosera) at the seepage bog, but the one that really caught my eye was Drosera tracyi. Most sundews are pretty low to the ground with a basal rosette of leaves, but not this one. Carnivorous plants are very interesting to me.
Osmanthus americanus is also known as Wild Olive or Devilwood. It is a member of the Olive family, Oleaceae and has opposite leaves.
You can see the bow of my kayak in the bottom of the picture. I tied up to the tree in a swift current on the Blackwater River to get some pictures.
As we were hurrying back from the seepage bogs on Saturday, I off-handedly asked Kelly when Pieris blooms, because we were passing a park that I knew had a nice Cypress swamp. Kelly proceeded to do a U-turn, and we jogged along the trail looking for some Pieris. Pieris is an Ericaceous plant that grows up inside the bark of Cypress trees, and sends out shoots that flower. I don't believe that they hurt the Cypress at all. Dinner was a little late, but I was glad I got to see this plant.
One of the interesting carnivorous plants at the seepage bogs we visited was a Butterwort (Pinguicula planifolia). Butterworts are in the same family as Bladderworts (Utriculaceae) and both catch prey. Butterworts do so with their sticky leaves.
Here is the flower of the same Pinguicula above. The notched petals and the subtle violet color made for an attractive flower.
There were two Polygalas blooming near the seepage bog. This is Polygala nana. Polygala lutea was also blooming. There are 13 reported Polygala species in Walton County alone.
I was not sure whether this Azalea was Rhododendron periclymenoides or canescens. It was blooming near a little spring on a hillside in Baldwin County, Alabama.
I visited Torreya State Park on my way to Atmore, Alabama last Tuesday. The park is on the Appalachicola River and has several rare plants. One is the Florida Yew. Kelly helped me find them.
Florida Yew (Taxus floridana) has a very restricted range and does not grow many other locations.
The state park takes its name from the Torreya tree. This tree grows almost nowhere else.
The specific epithet of Torreya taxifolia refers to the similarity of the leaves to the Florida Yew. Torreya leaves are more spiny.
This Trillium was blooming at Torreya State Park. I was not sure whether it is T. lancifolium or T. underwoodii. I am putting my money on T. underwoodii, since the leaves do not look very lance-shaped.
This little Bladderwort (Utricularia subulata) was growing in the seepage bog on Eglin. I am not sure how the bladders would work if the plant is rooted in the ground.
This Atamasca Lily (Zephyranthes atamasca) was blooming in the floodplain at Torreya State Park. Quite an attractive flower.

1 comment:

Scott Namestnik said...

Man, am I jealous. You want to come back to Indiana and deal with logistics while I botanize in Florida and Alabama?