Monday, March 7, 2011

Wickham Park, Early Spring, March 3, 2011

This was a quick tour of the park to see what's blooming in early spring. I especially like the bright green laurel oaks at this time of the year. Found one wildflower new to me: Frostweed or Rock-rose.
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Laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia, Fagaceae)
Native

The laurel oaks were close to their peak spring color on this day. The dull, old leaves were shed and replaced with shiny, new ones. Top left: A laurel oak greets visitors as they enter the park. Top right: A row of laurel oaks borders the southside of the front lake. Bottom: Close-up of new leaves.
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Carolina ash (Fraxinus caroliniana, Oleaceae)
Native

This ash is located near the entrance to the park office. There are a couple of small ash trees near the pavilions on the north side of the park. All the ashes are small, and some appear to be struggling.
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Walter's viburnum (Viburnum obovatum, Adoxaceae)
Native

This viburnum is on the east side of the park office, part of landscape plantings from years back.
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Bay lobelia (Lobelia feayana, Campanulaceae)
Native, Florida endemic

This is one of the first roadside wildflowers to pop up in the spring, usually in dense patches. They're short, less than 4 inches high. This wildflower and the next four were found along the unpaved road that runs north of the children's playground.
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Oakleaf fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius, Asteraceae)
Native
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Canadian toadflax (Linaria canadensis, Plantaginaceae)
Native

This is a common roadside wildflower in the spring, usually appearing in thin patches. There are two species of Linaria in Brevard Co. The other one is Apalachicola toadflax (L. floridana), which I've found in the Cruickshank Sanctuary. The two species can be separated by their spurs (L. canadensis has long spurs) and length of flower stems (L. canadensis has short stems).
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Fringed yellow stargrass (Hypoxis juncea, Hypoxidaceae)
Native

On this day the yellow stargrass was about as thick as I've ever seen it. This patch was near the playground. The tips of the petals have tufts of tiny hairs; maybe that's the reason for "fringed" in its name.
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Common yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata, Oxalidaceae)
Native

An early spring lawn invader.
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Netted pawpaw (Asimina reticulata, Annonaceae)
Native

Pawpaws are found along the trail on the east side of the Youth Camping Area.
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Wild pennyroyal (Piloblephis rigida, Lamiaceae)
Native

Pennyroyal is common along the trail on the east side of the Youth Camping Area.
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Pinebarren frostweed, rock-rose (Helianthemum corymbosum, Cistaceae)
Native

This was a new wildflower for me. I found only this one in Wickham Park, alongside the trail on the east side of the Youth Camping Area. Later on this day, I found a few more of them in the Cruickshank Sanctuary.
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Camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris, Asteraceae)
Native

I'm pretty certain these are basal leaves of camphorweed. There are many of the young, hairy-leafed plants along the trail on the east side of the Youth Camping Area. I'll revisit this area from time to time to watch their progress.
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