Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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Flowering from March through November, this is the only species of the Lygodesmia genus in florida, where it occurs in sandhills, pine flatwoods, dry prairies, scrub and sandy disturbed sites throughout most of the state except for the western panhandle and extreme southern tip of the peninsula. L. aphylla is also found in a number of counties in southwest Georgia while the other Lygodesmia species are found mostly in the western United States.
Ruse-rush is a perennial herb with a rushlike stem up to one meter tall, milky sap and a solitary terminal flower. Corolla pink, pale rose or sometimes white. The 8 to 10 ray florets have toothed tips. Disk florets are absent. The anthers are connate around the base of the style, which is purple, bifurcate and recurved. Eight linear phyllaries 14-22mm long with acute, often purple tipped, apices extend up the sides of the cylindric involucre with a calycule of 8 to 14 deltate bractlets 1-5mm long at the base. Basal leaves are few, narrow and long, often withered or absent by flowering time, the stem leaves - if present - are scale-like.