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CLIMBING ASTER

A common vinelike plant of swamps, riverbanks, wet hammocks and other wet areas from the central panhandle throughout much of the Florida peninsula.

Also ranges through the coastal plain of Georgia and the Carolinas. Formerly in the Aster genus, climbing aster was initially reclassified as a Symphyotrichum based on similar features with some of those species. It is now classified as the single known species of the genus Ampelaster.
Purchase Climbing Aster by Paul Rebmann



GARBERIA

This woody, perennial evergreen shrub has showy purple flowers from summer into early winter.

This is apparently the only species of Garberia - at least in North America. Garberia is found in sand pine and oak scrub habitats of central and north Florida. Although it is listed as a state threatened species due to habitat loss, Garberia heterophylla is frequent and noticable from the roads passing through the Ocala National Forest when in bloom.



TROPICAL SODA APPLE

Native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina, this problem invasive has now spread across much of Florida.

Solanum viarum is also now found throughout the southeastern United States plus Pennsylvania and was placed on the Federal Noxious Weed List in 1995. In Florida it is usually found in disturbed sites - along roadsides and in ditches, citrus groves and other farmland. Tropical Soda Apple is very prolific and has a high germination rate. Cattle and wildlife such as raccoons, deer and feral pigs spread the seed by eating the fruit.



SKUNKVINE

This native of Asia is a problem invasive plant in the north and central peninsula of Florida.

It is also now found in Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Hawaii.
These twining vines grow from woody rootstock to over 20 feet long. The oval to linear-lanceolate leaves are petioled, opposite and often lobed at the base. When the leaves and vine are crushed a pungent, skunky smell is emitted. The cream to greyish-pink, small, trumpet shaped flowers appear on cymes and have lilac colored centers. The small shiny, golden-brown fruit can persist through the winter.



TREEFROG

This little frog resting on a pawpaw leaf is probably either Hyla femoralis - PINE WOOD TREEFROG - or H. squirella - SQUIRREL TREEFROG.

Both are found throughout the coastal plain of the southeastern United States.



GULF FRITILLARY on GODFREY'S BLAZING STAR

Godfrey's blazing star is endemic to Franklin and Wakulla counties in the eastern panhandle coast.

Preferring open disturbed areas, Liatris provincialis occurs in the transition zone between coastal scrub and flatwoods and also between sandhill and flatwoods on the mainland near the Gulf coast.
This species shares with L. chapmanii alternate stem leaves that are longer near the base of the plant and reduced upward. These leaves have a raised midrib underneath. There are also grasslike basal leaves up to 6 inches long. Unlike L. chapmanii, the flower heads of Godfrey's blazing star are more perpendicular to the stem, revealing the peduncle.

Gulf Fritillaries can be seen in flight all year in south Florida and all except December northward. The range of Agraulis vanillae is from South America north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to the southern United States, occassionally wandering into the central United States. The caterpillar hosts are various species of passion vine including Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower) and P. foetida (running pop). These butterflies feed on the nectar from lantana, sheperd's needle, cordias, composites and others such as Godfrey's blazing star, shown here.