Author: exploreorca

Weeds of Wednesday: Showy but Poisonous Rattlebox

Showy rattlebox (Crotalaria spectablis) is big and beautiful, often growing to be more than six feet tall. Native to southeast Asia, this woody annual is weedy and poisonous. Rattleweed is another common name. Showy ratttlebox loves disturbance, and the seedlings shown below on the Oslo […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Smooth Rattlebox

On our visit to Cypress Bend Community Preserve on 5-5-2018, we saw smooth rattlebox (Crotalaria pallida var. obovata), pictured above, growing in the ruderal area of the parking lot. Fifteen species of crotalaria are found in Florida, and this widely distributed species is non-native — […]

Weeds (or Wildflowers) of Wednesday: Lyreleaf sage?

Lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) was in splendid flower at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) along the mowed edges of the sidewalk trail to the Viewing Platform when we visited on  3-1-2018  and is shown below near the time capsule (under the rock). This plant […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Lovely Lantana ??

In 2012 Don Morris (Class of 2009) took this photo of a zebra longing butterfly that had come to nectar upon the lantana (Strigolantana camara) that I had plucked — to talk about this Evil Invader. That butterfly reminded me that that Nature (and Life) […]

Voracious Variability

Homo sapiens, we all are, but our coloration and shapes are quite different, as can be seen in this photo of the folks who visited Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) on 3/11/2018. On that trip we saw lots of blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella) on […]

Happy Florida Gopher Tortoise Day!

Today, April 10, 2018 is Florida Gopher Tortoise Day! Thanks to the much-missed Diane LaRue (Class of 2014) who shared the photo above of a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) at Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area on the north side of Oslo Road. The small area of […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Oakleaf fleabane

Tiny, 1/4″ daises graced a profusion of oak leaf fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius) plants at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) when we field-tripped there on March 11, 2018. Also known as southern fleabane, this native annual wildflower — or, depending on your point of view, […]

Happy National Weed Appreciation Day!

Today, March 28, is National Weed Appreciation Day, but I cannot find a greeting card. Weeds, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. The weed pictured above pink wood sorrel (Oxalis debilis) that graced the entry to the trails at the north Oslo […]

Happy Halophytes

Halophytes are plants that are adapted to growing in salty conditions, in, for instance, mangrove swamps and salt marshes. Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) includes more than 250 acres of such coastal wetlands. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR), where we visited on 3-1-2018, is […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Splendid Sonchus

Looking down from the Viewing Platform at Pelican Island National Wildlife on March 11, we saw a striking and substantially sized specimen of spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper), an elongate pyramid thriving in the rich marshy soil. Spiny sowthistle can grow up to be 6 feet […]

Pretty in Pink: Sea Pink

Sea-pink, salt marsh pink, annual rose gentian, and marsh pink are among the many names given to the pretty pink wildflower of coastal marsh places pictured above. Rose-of-Plymouth is the preferred common name according the the University of south Florida plant atlas and belies its […]

Weeds Of Wednesday: East Indian walnut or lebbeck tree

On our field trip to the Captain Forster Hammock Preserve on 3/3/18, it was heartening to see that nearly all of the invasive East Indian walnut trees (Albizia lebbeck) had been cut down and treated with herbicide. This Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Category #1 […]