Monday, October 3, 2011

Tosohatchee WMA, October 2, 2011

We returned to Tosohatchee to see if anything new was in bloom. On the way there we passed by the St. Johns River marsh, adjacent to SR 520, where last week we photographed mass bloomings of southeastern sunflowers (Helianthus agrestis). On this day even more were in bloom. What a magnificent sight! Masses of brilliant yellow, like molten gold. We thought we might see southeastern sunflowers in Tosohatchee, but we didn't find any.

We also looked in Tosohatchee for Florida false sunflower (Phoebanthus grandiflorus), but none were found; they are probably done blooming for the year.

We did find seven new wildflowers on this visit: Florida sunflower (a relative of southeastern sunflower), tievine (a type of morning glory), Catesby's lily, skyflower, glade lobelia, clustered bushmint, and bladderpod. Tosohatchee remains one of the most productive areas I've seen for wildflowers.
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Beehead Road

Near entrance, looking east. Most wildflowers on left (north) side of road.
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Duckweed 
Probably little duckweed (Lemna obscura) or dotted duckweed (Landoltia punctata), both members of the Araceae family.
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Pickerelweed ( Pontederia cordata, Pontederiaceae)
Native

Fresh blossoms about to unfold.
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Pale meadowbeauty (Rhexia mariana, Melastomataceae)
Native
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Glade lobelia (Lobelia grandulosa, Campanulaceae)
Native

This flower was new to me and is new to this blog. It has strange fleshy leaves with gland-tipped, toothed margins.
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Lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata, Lamiaceae)
Native

Dry seed pods are shown on the right.
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Seaside primrosewillow (Ludwigia maritima, Onagraceae)
Native

The distinctive cube-shaped seed capsule of this species is shown.
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Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium, Iridaceae)
Native

Left: A bud about to unfold; right: seed capsules.
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Beehead Road

Further down Beehead Road; most of the wildflowers are on the left (north) side of the road.
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Tievine (Ipomoea cordatotriloba, Convolvulaceae)
Native

On the way to Tosohatchee we saw lots of this morning glory blooming on the fences on either side of SR 520. It was abundant in Tosohatchee, especially along Power Line Road. This is a new wildflower for this blog. As shown, the leaves are very variable. The smaller ones appear to have more lobes. The larger ones (not shown) are heart shaped without lobes. In the last photo, a green lynx spider sits on a petal. Lynx spiders chase their prey over vegetation or lie in wait and leap out.
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Blackeyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta, Asteraceae)
Native

This was one of the few blackeyed susans still in bloom. Most of them had gone to seed.
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Skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa, Hydroleaceae)
Native

This was my first encounter with this small, pretty, bright blue flower. "Skyflower" is a good name for it.
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Climbing hempvine (Mikania scandens, Asteraceae)
Native

This was love bug season. Nearly every blossom had some.
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Rusty staggerbush (Lyonia ferruginea, Ericaceae)

From a distance, this looked like a tall, red flower; however, as I got closer I realized it was a gall on a rusty staggerbush.
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Catesby's lily; pine lily (Lilium catesbaei, Liliaceae)
Native, Florida-threatened

Walking back through a palmetto thicket after photographing the lyonia gall, I came across a solitary, beautiful, red-orange lily. I guessed that it was a Catesby's lily, although I had never seen one before. Later, after we turned the corner onto St. Nicholas Road, we found many more of them, sometimes as many as six in a cluster, all near the road and easily accessible. Together I think we must've seen about 20 of the lilies. They're found in moist pinelands and swamps; bloom summer and fall.
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Coastalplain St.John's-wort (Hypericum brachyphyllum, Clusiaceae)
Native
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Rosy camphorweed (Pluchea baccharis, Asteraceae)
Native
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Pitted stripeseed, piriqueta (Piriqueta cistoides, Turneraceae)
Native
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Savannah false pimpernel (Lindernia grandiflora, Plantaginaceae)
Native
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Nuttall's meadowbeauty (Rhexia nuttallii, Melastomataceae)
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Tall elephantsfoot (Elephantopus elatus, Asteraceae)
Native
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Trail off Fish Hole Rd

This trail runs east from Fish Hole Rd and ends in a small picnic area.
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Red maple (Acer rubrum, Sapindaceae)
Native

Some early autumn color.
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Powerline Road

Left: looking west; right: looking east.  The north side of Power Line Rd. is a broad, meadow, a mixture of dry and marshy soils.
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Clustered bushmint; musky mint (Hyptis alata, Lamiaceae)
Native

The 4-sided stem, which is usually an indication of a mint, led me to the identification of this tall plant. It is new to me and to this blog. This plant was abundant along the north side of Power Line Rd. Most of them had already bloomed, but I did find one with a few flowers remaining on it. The last photo shows a papery cocoon of some sort.
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Blue mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum, Asteraceae)
Native

On previous visits, there was a lot of blue mistflower. Most of them had faded away now.
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Bladderpod; bagpod (Sesbania vesicaria, Fabaceae)
Native

This was another abundant and very visible plant along the north side of Power Line Rd. Bladderpod was new to me and is new to this blog. The last photo shows one of the inflated pods opened up to reveal two seeds. Cattle have died from eating the poisonous seeds.
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Nuttall's thistle (Cirsium nuttallii, Asteraceae)
Native

Another tall and very visible plant along Power Line Rd.
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Florida sunflower (Helianthus floridanus, Asteraceae)
Native

There were several plants in one small area. Only three heads were in bloom; however, there were many more heads close to opening. A new plant for me and for this blog.
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Butterflies, bees, and morning glories

Thick patches of morning glories (tievines) along Power Line Rd were alive with butterflies. The butterflies mostly moved too fast to get good close-ups. The most visible butterflies were Giant Swallowtails (in the first six photos above). Can you find the three Giant Swallowtails in the first photo? The seventh photo is a White Peacock. The eighth photo shows a Florida Dusky Wing Skipper in the act of sipping nectar with its long tongue. The last photo shows a bee half buried in a morning glory blossom.
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1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed your photos and info. Will try to visit this area soon.

    ReplyDelete