Thursday, October 16, 2014
Alicia - Chapmannia floridana
Alicia is an annual member of the legume family. Emerging in spring, it becomes a lanky stem by summer that may reach 3 feet in height. All parts of the plant are covered by sticky hairs. The leaves are confined mostly to the lower portions of the plant. They are alternate along the stem and comprised of 3-7 leaflets. Flowering can occur over a protracted period from late spring through fall. A succession of buds are formed at the top of the stems. Each flower is canary yellow and composed of three petals - the top petal being the largest. Each bloom is open only in the morning hours, unless the day is extremely cloudy. Pollinated flowers form pea-like fruit.
Alicia is an interesting species, but lacks most of the characteristics that would make it a good candidate for the home landscape. It has never been offered for sale by any of the nurseries affiliated with FANN (the Florida Association of Native Nurseries) to the best of my knowledge and is unlikely to in the near future. This endemic is simply a wildflower to be recognized and admired when encountered in the field.