Gil Nelson will lead a walk June 2
by Ginny Stibolt
Did you know that we have our own locally indigenous wildflower located
in four counties here in northeast Florida? William Bartram collected
it and called it Ixia coelestina. Botanists have decided that
its scientific name should be Calydorea coelestina, so the common
name is now Bartram's Ixia.
In the iris family, this small flower thrives in fire managed pine
forests. The flowers open at sunrise and last about three hours.
The species is rare, but not currently threatened and you have a chance
to see it on June 2, 2007.
Gil Nelson, author of Trees
of Florida, Ferns
of Florida, Florida's
Best Native Landscape Plants, and many more will lead an early morning search
for ixias in Jennings Forest in Clay County. The Ixia Chapter of
The Florida Native Plant Society invites you to join us. There's
no charge, but show up at 6:30 am sharp and wear good walking
There's more information and a map on The Ixia Chapter's website; www.fpns.org.
Bookmark it, there are always field trips, workshops, gardenfests, and other
Orchids in My Lawn
I will be going on the field trip to Jennings Forest, but I can find
wildflowers in my lawn. In these low water months when the lawn is
hardly growing, and we're not mowing, I've found a bunch of ladies tresses (Spiranthes
spp) poking up from the grass.
The little orchid flowers spiral up the stem, which all together make a
nice show. The roots are fleshy tubers which increases the likelihood
of their surviving the transplant process. That's a good thing,
because in the process of extracting them from the St. Augustine, most of
the soil was knocked from their roots.
Ladies tresses, unlike Bartram's Ixia, are common and widespread, but
that does not make them any less attractive. The other day I decided
to transplant some of these beauties into garden and meadow areas so they
won't get whacked off the next time the John Deere visits. I thought
there would be five or six, but once I got going, I found more than two
There's another fall and winter blooming orchid that I look forward to,
the lawn orchid (Zeuxine strateumatica). While the ladies
tresses are native, the lawn orchid is from Asia. I have a photo on my
When you let your landscape go wild, you just may find surprising
wildflowers of your own.
Ginny Stibolt would
like to hear from readers who have suggestions and questions. After all,
there are more than a few transplanted gardeners here in northeast Florida
trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t in planting zone 8/9.
You may contact her or read extra details on her articles and other
information posted on her website: www.transplantedgardener.com.
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