Curtiss' Milkweed #1
Photograph - Photograph
A close-up side view of some of the flowers in an umbel of Curtiss' milkweed. Asclepias curtissii is endemic to Florida scrub habitat such as found in the Ocala National Forest where this was photographed.
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& Wild Flowers
This rare milkweed is found only in Florida, growing in the leached white sand of scrub, sand pine scrub and scrubby flatwoods habitats. The range is mostly through the central peninsula, with a northern extent in Clay County, and a also in the south Florida counties of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Collier and Lee.
Asclepias curtissii is a long-lived deciduous perennial that annually dies back to its rootstock. The single stem is minutely pubescent with opposite broadly ovate to oblong leaves, 3-5 cm (1-1/8 - 2 in.) long, glabrous or nearly glabrous, and with short petioles. The flowers have the appearance typical of many milkweeds, growing in umbels. In Curtiss' milkweed, the corolla lobes are greenish-white, 5-6 mm long and reflexed. The 4-4.5 mm long hoods are lanceolate and white with purple lines.
The species name honors Allen Hiram Curtiss, a Virginian who came to Florida in 1875 and settled in Jacksonville. In 1880 and 1881 he traveled through the keys, and after 1900 he botanized in other southern states and the West Indies. In a seven year period Curtiss collected nearly 1500 species. At least a dozen Florida species or subspecies bear the name curtissii.
(Subject description from the artist's Wild Florida Photo website www.wildflphoto.com)
September 13th, 2014
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