Spectacular Spikes

Coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) sports striking spikes of tubular scarlet flowers throughout the winter and early spring.  Hummingbirds and long-tongued butterflies nectar on its flowers. Flowering seems to be earlier on Orchid Island than on the mainland.  This showy native plant…

Weeds of Wednesday: Tread-Softly

Stinging hairs cover the leaves, stems, flowers, and seed capsules of tread-softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus).  Also known as finger-rot, the hairs of this native plant contain irritating compounds that cause intense stinging and itching.  A nasty rash of red pustules often…