Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
A common shrub or small tree of swamps, cypress ponds and the margins of lakes, rivers and ponds thoughout most of Florida except the keys.
The range of Cephalanthus occidentalis includes all of the eastern United States west to Texas and Minnesota, and north into Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, plus Arizona and California.
Usually 3 meters high or less, common buttonbush can grow as tall as 15 meters. The most distinguishing features are the pincushion-like globular clusters of tiny white flowers that hang from the branches. The simple, entire lanceolate to elliptic leaves can be opposite or in whorls of 3 or 4.
This low-growing plant is found sparsely in sandhills of the north and central peninsula and the central and western panhandle of Florida.
The range extends into Georgia and throughout the southwestern United States.
Krameria lanceolata is the only species of this genus in the southeast, the others occurring in the deserts of the southwest.
The trailing stems, alternate narrow leaves and peduncles are covered with ascending silky gray hairs. Flowers are irregular, with 4 or 5 petallike reddish-purple sepals and 5 petals. Three of the petals are fused together into a claw with three deep-red limbs or blades. The four stamens are united to the base of this petal structure. The other two petals are short, thick and scalelike.
Small common herb of sandhills and flatwoods from the central panhandle down through most of the peninsula, except the southeastern counties.
The range also includes Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.
Of the three snakeherb species in Florida, Dyschoriste oblongifolia has the largest flowers, the corolla being 2-3 cm long. The opposite leaves and stem are pubescent, rarely exceeding 20 cm tall. The common name derives from the trait of this plant to frequently have a pair of back to back flowers in bloom at the same time.
This perennial grows up to one meter tall in savannas, flatwoods and bogs throughout much of the panhandle plus northeast Florida down to Orange County.
The range also includes the southeastern coastal states from Texas to North Carolina.
The four rose lavendar pedals sit atop an urn-shaped base covered with glandular hairs. Savannah meadowbeauty has four sepals and like many of the Rhexia species, has curved anthers over 5mm long. The stem and leaves of R. alifanus are glabrous and the seeds are wedge-shaped.
This perennial herb grows up to 30 inches tall in sandhills, flatwoods and hammocks throughout much of the state except the southern peninsula.
The blue to violet 2-lipped flowers can bloom from March to November. The stem is 4-angled and the leaves are opposite, with those below the flowers narrow and entire.
Yellow-crowned night herons are mostly nocturnal feeders, but can sometimes be seen in the mornings or before dusk searching for their favorite meal of crabs or crayfish.
These wading birds are found throughout Florida and along the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico year round. Nyctanassa violacea range in wetlands throughout the southeastern United States in the spring and summer breeding season, occassionally north to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.