Monday, January 16, 2012

Mentzelia floridana – Poorman's Patch

Mentzelia floridana
Mentzelia floridana photographed at the Juno Dunes Natural Area in Palm Beach County.

Poorman's patch, Mentzelia floridana, is a weakly erect, often climbing or sprawling, perennial typically found in hammocks, shell middens, and dunes. It bears striking, bright yellow flowers about 1.5 inches wide throughout the year. The plant is covered with tiny hooked hairs, by which means the leaves and fruits stick to feathers, fur, and human clothing. I have never seen it cultivated although it is not clear why not since it has small but showy flowers and its preference for dry or rocky soil would indicate that it is drought tolerant. Mentzelia floridana has a very limited natural range and is known only from the Bahamas and Florida. However, within Florida, it is a common plant found throughout the coastal areas of the peninsula. In southern Florida, it can also be found well inland.

Image and text © 2012 Rufino Osorio

No comments: