Railroad Vine Flower
Photograph - Photograph
A close-up front view of a railroad vine flower on the beach with the vine and leaves in the background.
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This member of the morning glory family is a frequent vine of beaches throughout much of Florida's coast. The range extends along the southeastern coast from Texas to South Carolina, plus Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Puerto RIco and the Virgin Islands.
The funnel-shaped corolla is lavender, darker in the center, with five ovate sepals unequal in size. The blooming season is mainly from May through November, with sporadic flowering at other times of the year. The alternate leaves are ovoid or kidney-shaped with a notch at the apex, smooth, entire, succulent and long-stalked. The fruit is a capsule with four large seeds. The glabrous vine is trailing, rooting at the nodes and branched.
This plant is an important dune protection and restoration species as it grows out onto the beach ahead of other plants typically in a straight line - prompting the common name railroad vine. The leaves catch blowing sand to start natural dune building and provide an anchor for other plants. This makes it a desirable plant in Florida and other coastal states.
(Subject description from the artist's Wild Florida Photo website www.wildflphoto.com)
June 16th, 2019
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