Weeds of Wednesday: Largeflower Mexican clover

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It’s getting to be everywhere and seems to be flowering more frequently: Largeflower Mexican clover (Richardia grandiflora). Yes, it’s tiny flowers are pretty and attract pollinators, including bees and butterflies like the great southern white butterfly (Ascia monuste) shown below …

Also commonly called largeflower pusley and Florida snow, this creeping herbaceous perennial weed roots at the nodes and reproduces by seed and from stem fragments. Mowing spreads this weed in lawns and along roadsides. Heaviest flowering tends to be from September to January, and flowers vary in color from white to pink to pale purple.

It has been expanding its range at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area  since its arrival there around 2010 …

On our field trip to Treasure Shores Park on 6/3/17, we saw this hairy-stemmed weed flourishing not far from the sea …

All it needed was a bit of sand to “volunteer” atop asphalt near the curb in the parking lot …

Where conditions were more stable, this plant with pointed opposite leaves formed itself into a mat …

This plant began to attract the attention of land managers in 1999, and it was added to the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council List in 2013 as a Category 2 invader. It reportedly has invaded scrub, pine rocklands, prairie, coastal strand and beach dune plant communities.

The common name largeflower Mexican clover is a misnomer; This plant hails from Brazil – not Mexico. Its genus name Richard honors Richard Richardson, an 18th century English physician and botanist. The species name grandiflora means large flowered. Its nearly dime-sized flowers are the the largest in this tropical/subtropical genus.

Expect to see it more and more frequently in a variety of venues. Sigh!