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LEAVENWORTH'S TICKSEED

A flower of Coreopsis leavenworthii viewed from the rear with the morning sun shining through the petals.

Coreopsis leavenworthii - LEAVENWORTH'S TICKSEED

The genus Coreopsis(tickseed) is designated the Florida State Wildflower. There are 14 species of tickseed in the state, three of these are not native to Florida and come from other parts of the United States. One species, Coreopsis floridana is endemic, found only in Florida.
This ia a common wildflower of wet flatwoods, ditches and disturbed sites occurring throughout nearly all of Florida and in two south Alabama counties.
Leavenworth's tickseed is a perennial growing up to five feet tall with slender glabrous stems that branch in the upper part of the plant. The flowers, which may appear throughout the year, are terminal on the branches and have yellow ray florets and dark disks. Coreopsis leavenworthii leaves are opposite, narrow and may be lobed or unlobed.
This species is named for Melines Conkling Leavenworth (1796-1862) an army surgeon stationed at Fort King near Tampa during the Second Seminole Indian War. He was also a botanist who collected in the southeastern United States.
More information on Coreopsis leavenworthii can be found in this Florida Native Plant Society Native Plant Owners Manual
Sun Petals by Paul Rebmann



GREEN METALLIC BEE

I was photographing in a large patch of Leavenworth's tickseed along a county road in St. Johns County on Memorial Day when this little green bee visited several of the flowers I was focusing on. At first I thought the visitor might be one of the flower flies or bee flies, until I noticed that it had two pairs of wings, therefore it was a bee and not a fly.

Agapostemon splendens - GREEN METALLIC BEE and Coreopsis leavenworthii - LEAVENWORTH'S TICKSEED

This Agapostemon splendens is featured here for National Pollinator Week June 17-23, 2013. These are small bees that can be seen in much of the eastern US from April through October, possibly year-round in Florida.
All of the species of Agapostemon are at least partially metallic green. The A. splendens female has a metallic blue-green abdomen with dark bands and the male has a yellow and black banded abdomen. The 2 pairs of wings are dark, not clear.
Green metallic bees are members of the Halictidae family commonly called sweat bees for the behavior of some of the species of being attracted to perspiration. Many bees in this family nest in the ground.
You can read more about the Halictidae family at the University of Florida IFAS Feature Creatures website.
Purchase Green Bee Yellow Flowers by Paul Rebmann



FLORIDA BELLFLOWER

This common small wildflower of cypress domes, marshes, pond margins and other wet places is found only in Florida, a state endemic.

Campanula floridana - FLORIDA BELLFLOWER

The range includes much of the peninsula from Taylor and Baker Counties south into Collier and Broward Counties, plus Franklin and Jackson Counties in the panhandle.
A perennial with weak slender stems to 16 inches long that are often decumbent. Leaves are alternate, clasping, linear to lanceolate with gland-tipped teeth along the margin. The purple star-shaped flowers are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide with five petals. The sepals are from 1/4 to 1/3 inch long.
The other two species of Bellflower in Florida are rare. American bellflower grows more erect, has conspicuously serrate-crenate leaves, and occurs in Gadsden, Jackson and Liberty Counties, Robin's Bellflower has even smaller flowers, with a corolla from 7-8 mm wide and sepals 1-2.5 mm long and is only found in Hernando and Hillsborough Counties.
Campanula floridana is a member of the Bellflower family (Campanulaceae), which includes the Lobellias, Triodanis (Venus' looking-glass) and two non-native genera in Florida.



FLORIDA TREE SNAIL

This image is of the Ornatus or adorned color form of Liguus fasciatus, the Florida Tree Snail.

Liguus fasciatus - FLORIDA TREE SNAIL

As their name implies these snails live mostly on trees of south Florida hammocks from Broward and Collier Counties south through the keys. The range also includes Cuba and the Isle of Youth (formerly Isle of Pines).
There are over 50 color forms of this snail in Florida. Having previously been classified as three different species, L solidus and L. crenatus are now considered to be different forms of Liguus fasciatus. Snails of the Liguus genus have a white, pink or jeweled tip.
Charles Torrey Simpson (1846-1932), one of Florida's Botanical Explorers, was an early investigator of these snails while exploring the flora and fauna of Florida and Cuba. After he retirement from the Smithsonian Institution Department of Mollusks Simpson moved to south Florida in 1902 and became a prominent naturalist.
Since being listed as a Florida species of special concern, it is illegal to collect either live or dead snails.
Photography Prints by Paul Rebmann



MICHAUX'S CUPGRASS

French naturalist and botanist Andre Michaux discovered this cupgrass that was later named for him near Fort Matanzas in 1788.

Eriochloa michauxii - MICHAUX'S CUPGRASS

Michaux's cupgrass is a frequent grass of wet hammocks and flatwoods, riverbanks, fresh water and brackish marshes throughout much of Florida except the western panhandle. The range extends into Alabama, Georgia & South Carolina.
This is a perennial grass with erect, stout, unbranched culms up to 6-1/2 feet tall with leaves up to two feet long and from 1/3 to 2/3 inch wide. Leaf blades are usually flat with a prominent midrib and scabrous margins. The inflorescence of Eriochloa michauxii is a terminal panicle up to a foot long with the rachis and pedicels usually pilose. Spikelets are often purplish, up to almost a quarter inch long with a smooth hard cuplike protuberance at the base.
The genus name Eriochloa is made up of the Greek words erion (wool) and chloé (grass), a reference to the pubescent spikelets and pedicels.
A second variety of this species - E. michauxii simpsonii - occurs only in the southwest Florida counties of Lee, Collier & Monroe and has narrower leaf blades that are less than a quarter inch wide. This subspecies is named for Joseph Simpson, the brother of Charles Torrey Simpson another of "Florida's Botanical Explorers".
Purchase Michaux’s Cupgrass by Paul Rebmann



SANDHILL CRANE

This sandhill crane had a nest with eggs in the middle of the upper Hillsboro River at Crystal Springs Preserve. This photo was made during the 2012 Florida Native Plant Society state conference Saturday night social.

Grus canadensis - SANDHILL CRANE

These are large birds of open grasslands, meadows and wetlands, and can sometimes be seen in residential areas and along roadsides.
Two subspecies of sandhill cranes can be found in Florida. A population of about four to five thousand non-migratory Grus canadensis - subspecies pratensis - live year round in Florida and south Georgia. These Florida sandhill cranes are state listed as threatened. A larger population of greater sandhill cranes spends winters in Florida and summers in the Great Lakes region. The two subspecies are indistinguishable from each other.
Sandhill cranes have gray bodies, red foreheads and white cheeks. They are up to four feet tall with a wingspan of over six feet. Males and females are similar to each other, with the males being slightly larger. Mated pairs remain together year-round.
Purchase Sandhill Crane Portrait by Paul Rebmann Purchase Sandhill Crane and Eggs by Paul Rebmann