Gulf Fritillary On Elephantsfoot
Photograph - Photograph
A gulf fritillary butterfly on elephantsfoot flowers showing the underside of the wings.
Gulf Fritillaries can be seen in flight all year in south Florida and all except December northward in the state. The range of Agraulis vanillae is from South America north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to the southern United States, occassionally wandering into the central United States.
Tall elephantsfoot is a common wildflower of pine flatwoods, sandhills, dry prairies and other uplands and ruderal sites throughout nearly all of Florida. The range includes the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana into South Carolina.
Elephantsfoot is a perennial growing up to 7dm (just over 2 ft.) tall from a rhizome. Basal rosettes of elliptic or lanceolate leaves with hairy undersides help identify this plant even when not in bloom. The stems are often branching with much smaller alternate, sessile and elliptic leaves. The white, pink or pale purple tubular florets appear above three leaf-like, deltoid, hairy bracts.
December 28th, 2017
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