Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
Flowers of Crinum americanum just above and reflected in the water of the Ocklawaha River. This photo was taken from a kayak in the swampy area near where the Ocklawaha flows into the St. Johns River.
A frequent lily of swamps, marshes and wet hammocks in much of Florida and throughout the southeastern United States from Texas to North Carolina.
String lily is a perenial growing from a large bulb with a rosette of strap-shaped leaves up to 39 in. long. The large white flowers are in an umbel above a pair of bracts topping a scape that can be up to 4 ft. tall. The perianth is salverform - having a long, narrow, straight tube with six abruptly, often reflexively, spreading, narrowly lanceolate or linear limb segments (tepals). There are six long stamens with brownish-red anthers. The fruits are capsules with fleshy seeds.
C. americanum is the only native species of Crinum in Florida. Spiderlilies (genus Hymenocallis) have similar growth forms and share the same habitats.
This toad was hanging around near the water spigot in a campsite at Henderson Beach State Park last December.
Southern toads may be found in sandy ares, cultivated fields, hammocks and pine barrens throughout Florida.
The range extends through the southeastern coastal plain from the Florida parishes of Louisiana into southeastern Virginia.
These toads can be from 1-3/4 - 4-1/2 in. long, spotted and mottled with coloring from brick red to black. The underside is light with no spots. The males are typically smaller than the females. They feed mainly on small invertebrates and are known to eat nearly anything that they can swallow. They are most active at night, often burrowing into the ground during the day.
All North American members of the Bufo genus are now considered by most experts to be in the genus Anaxyrus. There are 2 other species in Florida, Fowler's toad -A. folweri - and the tiny oak toad - A. quercicus.
White birds, probably wood storks, flying in the distance over Paynes Prairie.
This image was made early one January morning from a middle level of the observation tower on the south side of the prairie.
The observation tower is a short walk from the
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park visitor center.
"Paynes Prairie White Birds" is now available for purchase online at Fine Art America.
Except for Sisyrinchium albidum - white blue-eyed grass - that has white flowers and is only found in two Florida counties, Duval and Santa Rosa,
the native blue-eyed grasses in Florida have similar flowers.
These flowers have six bluish tepals that can vary from light blue to violet.
The tepals often have awl-shaped (aristate) tips.
The bases of the tepals are yellow, forming the center of the flower 'eye'.
The filaments are connate, fused together into a tube supporting the anthers.
One non-native species is found in Florida, S. rosulatum - annual blue-eyed grass - the flowers of which are not blue.
The flowers of this South American native can be yellow, or nearly white with a blue or pink tint.
The blue-eyed grass pictured here is Sisyrinchium nashii - Nash's blue-eyed grass - which can have a purplish tint to the spathes below the flower, and tends to not grow in dense tufts. The other native blue-eyed grasses tend to grow in dense tufts. S. angustifolium - variously known as narrowleaf, eastern & pointed blue-eyed grass - usually has spathes that are all green. Sisyrinchium xerophyllum prefers dryer habitats, such as scrub and xeric sandhills, than the other species.
This tiny daisy-like flower was seen in late January along the side of a dirt road in the Clark Bay Conservation Area.
Oakleaf fleabane is a common wildflower of moist hammocks and disturbed sites in most of Florida, although not occurring in the western panhandle.
Also called southern fleabane, it's range extends throughout the southeast, west into Louisiana and Arkansas and north into Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.
The flowers are about a half inch wide and have over a hundred ray petals. They can be white, pinkish or nearly purple with yellow disks. Blooming season is typically late winter through summer. The elliptic to oblanceolate leaves are hairy, mostly basal and lobed or toothed. The stem leaves are clasping and get smaller up the stem. The stem is villous-hirsute.
The only other fleabane species in Florida with over 100 ray petals is Erigeron philadelphicus - Philadelphia fleabane - which occurs mostly in counties where E. quercifolius is not found.