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FRINGED MEADOWBEAUTY

A frequent small herb of savannas, flatwoods, bogs and coastal swales in the northern counties and south into the central Florida peninsula.

The range extends throughout the southeastern coastal states from Texas to Maryland.
Fringed meadowbeauty is one of two Rhexia species with pink flowers and short anthers. R. petiolata has distinctly ciliate, ovate leaves that are hairy on the underside and glabrous floral tubes and urns. Compare this with R. nuttallii.



ZEBRA LONGWING

on

FIREBUSH

The zebra longwing is the official Florida state butterfly.

Heliconius charitonius has a wingspan of over 8cm (about 3 inches). The forewings are long and narrow, jet black above with three yellow bands. The hindwings have one yellow band and a row of yellow spots. The undersides of the wings are paler, with red spots at the base.
Its larvae feed exclusively on passionflower. The adult butterflies can often be seen on firebush.
Found in hardwood hammocks, deep woods and gardens throughout peninsular Florida, the zebra longwing also ranges from South America through Central America and Mexico into southern Texas plus the West Indies.



SCARLET HIBISCUS

An occassional shrublike plant of swamps and other wet areas found mostly in the central and northeast peninsula and also some counties of south Florida and the panhandle.

Scarlett rosemallow ranges throughout the southeastern coastal states from Virginia to Louisiana plus Arkansas.
The large distinctive flowers are up to 20 cm across and have five bright red petals. Hibiscus coccineus has a green five-lobed calyx and linear, entire and unforked bracts. The leaves are palmately divided into 3 or 5 lobes on long stalks.
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SWITCHGRASS

Panicum virgatum glistening with morning dew

A frequent grass of flatwoods, beaches, fresh and brackish marshes and ruderal sites throughout much of Florida except for some mostly inland counties. The range extends throughout all of the continental United States except for the Pacific coast states, and is also found in Hawaii.



STOKES' ASTER

An occasional to rare perennial of wet flatwoods and savannas, bogs, wet ditches and seepage areas of the central Florida panhandle plus Escambia, Santa Rosa and Nassau Counties.

The range extends through the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana to North Carolina.
Stokesia laevis has petiolate, elliptic basal leaves from 15-20 cm long. The showy blue or lavender terminal flowers are on stems with alternate, clasping lanceolate leaves that are dentate near the base and entire towards the apex.
This is the only species in this genus.



MANYFLOWER BEARDTONGUE

A frequent plant of sandhills and flatwoods throughout much of Florida, also ranging into southern Georgia and Alabama.

This perennial grows to a meter tall or more. The stem is smooth, reddish with opposite branches and leaves which are also sessile. The white bell-shaped, nodding flowers are in terminal panicles. The corolla is 5-lobed and 2-lipped with the lower lip having 3 lobes. The calyx is also 5-lobed and hairy. There are 4 curved fertile stamens and one hairy, straight, infertle stamen that gives this plant its common name.