Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cruickshank Sanctuary: Blacksenna, July 24, 2010

I returned to the Cruickshank Sanctuary to get more details on a plant that I previously identified as Palafoxia feayi, a Florida endemic. There was a chance the plant was actually P. integrifolia, which is not a Florida endemic. I also wanted to check on the rare Curtiss' milkweed I had found there on previous visits. I could not find any Palafoxia, and I could not find the Curtiss' milkweed. The Palafoxia were probably destroyed by a recent widening of some trails. I don't know what happened to the milkweed. Maybe it had reached the end of its life and had withered away.

Anyhow, I did find a species that was new to me: Blacksenna. The plant has a scraggly, bushy appearance with an overall yellow-green look. The first one I saw was fairly small. A later one was much larger. An interesting thing about this plant is that it is parasitic on tree roots, pines in particular. Some authors state that it is harmful to young pines.

Piedmont blacksenna (Seymeria pectinata, Orobanchaceae)

I initially declared this to be Seymeria cassioides, but since (9/13/11) have determined that it is S. pectinata.

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